By Anthony Caruso III | Publisher
The Boston Celtics have been stockpiling draft picks for quite some time. They were just waiting to strike.
The Celtics struck on Tuesday night when they pulled off a blockbuster deal with the Cleveland Cavaliers. Boston is the new home of Kyrie Irving, who demanded a trade weeks ago.
He was not been happy playing in the shadows of LeBron James. He wanted to be his own guy on his own team and wasn’t happy with James, despite the spotlight that The King shined upon his teammates.
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In exchange for Irving, the Celtics gave up Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and Ante Žižić. In addition, the Cavaliers are getting the 2018 Brooklyn Nets pick, which could potentially be the No. 1 overall pick.
But the 2018 Draft Lottery will determine that in May. The Celtics basically traded the 60th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft for the No. 1 overall pick in that draft.
Irving spent the past six years with the Cavaliers. He averaged 25.2 points, 3.2 rebounds, 5.8 assists, 1.2 steals and 0.3 blocks last season in 72 starts.
He’ll have two years remaining on his contract. He’ll make $18.8 million this upcoming season, then $20 million next season.
He has a player option for the 2019-20 at $21.3 million, which he is expected to decline.
This will be Thomas’ fourth team in his career. He spent three seasons with the Celtics, and averaged 28.9 points, 2.7 rebounds, 5.9 assists, 0.9 steals and 0.2 blocks last season as an MVP candidate in 76 games.
He also played for the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings in his career. He’ll make $6.2 million this season, before becoming a free agent next summer.
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Crowder will be heading to his third team, as he also played for the Dallas Mavericks. He averaged 13.9 points, 5.8 rebounds, 2.2 assists, 1.0 steals and 0.3 blocks last season with the Celtics in 72 games.
He has three-years left on his contract and was looking like the odd man out with Gordon Hayward signing a free agent contract in the summer. Crowder will make $6.7 million this season, before making $7.3 million next season.
He’ll make $7.8 million in 2019-20, before becoming a free agent.
Žižić has not played in an NBA game yet. He’ll make $1.64 million this season and $1.95 million next season.
His contract, which he signed in July, has two club options for the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons.
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