Kyrie Irving is headed to Boston. The Cavs all-star guard, who asked team owner Dan Gilbert to trade him earlier this year, has been sent to the Celtics for fellow all-star Isaiah Thomas and a couple of other players. WKSU Sports Commentator Terry Pluto talked about the trade.
Pluto said the trade to Boston is surprising because the Celtics are the team that will give the Cavs the most challenge in the Eastern Conference. He thought Irving would go to the West. But overall, Pluto says he likes many of the parts of the deal, including the acquisition of Boston’s Isaiah Thomas, who Pluto says fans will “absolutely love.”
“(He’s a) five-foot-nine point guard who just has an enduring smile. He’s not as good a player as Kyrie Irving, but he averaged 25 points last year,” he said.
But Pluto is quick to point out that Thomas’ inclusion on the team does bring up one concern in particular: his history with hip injuries. Thomas missed the last three games of last year’s Eastern Conference with a hip injury, and Pluto said he’s hearing “whispers” the player may still struggle with the injury early in Training Camp to the early season.
Kyrie in a Celtics uniform
The other concern is with the Celtics who may become a better team with Irving on the roster, threatening the Cavs’ chance at another title.
“Before this trade, I felt the Cavs still had, by far, the premier team in the Eastern Conference and that they would return to the NBA Finals…” he said.
He said that while the deal is currently a “gamble trade,” but said the addition of a first round pick for next year’s draft is an important part of the deal. He said it might be a high pick for the team.
Cleveland, moving past Kyrie
Despite fans being upset by the future absence of Irving, Pluto argues the deal needed to be made after Irving requested to be traded out of Cleveland.
“Once you have a player like Irving, who says he doesn’t want to play with LeBron James…says he wants to be the focal point of a team…you got to trade him somewhere, because basketball is a ‘chemistry sport,’” he said.
Cleveland fans will be further put to the test on October 17th, when the Cavs and Celtics are scheduled to play against each other.
“Do you think Kyrie’s going to get cheered?” Pluto jokingly asked. “No he’s not!”
But he does hope that Irving does not get the same treatment as LeBron did when he came back to Cleveland as a team member of the Miami Heat years ago, which Pluto called “one of the ugliest atmospheres” he ever experienced. He said Irving deserves better.
“Remember: this is the guy who hit the shot in Game 7 of 2016 to help bring a title to Cleveland. That’s something Cavs fans should always remember.”