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I know it's sometimes dangerous to play the "what if" game. But considering we're impatiently waiting for an Isaiah Thomas trade update from Adrian Wojnarowski (aka the proverbial "Woj Bomb") like a five-year old waits for Santa on Christmas Eve, I think it's OK.

So, what if Isaiah Thomas was simply rehabbing a surgically-repaired hip as opposed to slowly waiting for it to heal on its own? Personally, I feel if that were the case then, I contend, the blockbuster trade that sent Thomas to the Cleveland Cavaliers (along with Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the holy grail that is the Brooklyn Nets 2018 pick) for Kyrie Irving would've already been signed, sealed, and delivered.

 
However, we wait. And wait. And wait. Two hours ago, a Twitter notification from Woj glides across my phone. My heart stops. Then, I see it was regarding something to do with some player for the Portland Trailblazers. Phone gets chucked.

(hours after, I return from the Apple Store) 

Here we are, still waiting. Meanwhile, this whole "what if" about IT begs another set of similar questions: what if the Cavs did plan this whole we-agree-oh-wait-no-we-decided-we-want-more stalemate all along? What if it was merely a ploy for a young General Manager to out-trade master tradesman, Danny Ainge? Just ask reporter ESPN's Chris Haynes:


Does the league intervene? After all, this sets a grave precedent for future trades. What's to stop the next team who agrees to a deal with another suddenly ask for more despite complete transparency?

 
Only time will tell.

Meanwhile, instead of Cleveland's doctors, alongside newbie GM Koby Altman and Dan "Comic Sans" Gilbert asking their own set of "what if" questions, they're probably living in the world of "how long?"

How long will it take Isaiah to practice without restrictions? 

How long until he's back on the court?

How long until he's the fourth quarter killer he was in Boston?
Of course, had Thomas gone under the knife, the Cavs could've been less enamored with a trade to begin with. After all, trading with your rival is one thing, but trading with your rival you just battled in the Eastern Conference Finals a couple months ago is just unprecedented, if not insane.

Still, had surgery already been done, the Cavs could've asked for an additional pick right off the bat, even if said pick was conditional. Personally, I think that's the only thing Danny Ainge should offer to resolve this.

Let me be clear: I think Danny shouldn't give the Cavs a damn thing, but for the sake of getting Kyrie, perhaps offer a conditional second-rounder that's only released if IT misses a predetermined number of games.

Bottom line: this trade needs to go through. The Celtics can't bring Isaiah back, as much as we love him. The relationship between Isaiah and Boston went from soul mate status to a potential scenario that could have Hollywood scripting a War with the Roses sequel. The damage is done. He thought he found his home in Boston, and a home of a locker room.

See what the original IT had to say about it during a recent interview.

Isaiah is devastated, hurt, pissed off, and with zero motivation to return to Boston, much less talk about negotiating any further deals to continue rocking the four-leafed clover on his jersey. Additionally, his up-in-the-air health status exponentially drops his trade value which, if this deal is voided for good (highly doubtful, mind you) makes finding a new trade partner all that more difficult.

Despite reports that state the Milwaukee Bucks are lurking in the night like a peeping Tom with binoculars hanging from a high up tree branch, hoping the deal falls through. Hey, Milwaukee. Is the Greek Freak up for grabs? Didn't think so.

The quandary and infinite string of "what if" questions continues. And it will continue until Woj or Shams Charania tweet that the deal is actually, really, completely, totally, finally done. At that point, the "what if IT already had surgery?" question will be Cleveland's, and Cleveland's only, to answer.

Photo Credits: Clyde GraffixSI.com; Mark Duncan; SI.com

Edward Babaian 8/30/2017 09:34:00 PM Edit
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