The NBA champion runner-up Cleveland Cavaliers have traded four-time NBA All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving along with forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets unprotected 2018 first-round draft pick to the Boston Celtics for point guard Isaiah Thomas.
Irving was drafted first overall by the Cavaliers back in 2011 after playing one season under Mike Krzyweski at Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
Irving played six seasons in Cleveland earning NBA Rookie of the Year in 2012 and the NBA championship in 2016.
Two-time NBA All-Star Isaiah Thomas was also selected in the 2011 NBA Draft, by the Sacramento Kings with the 60th pick overall, after three seasons with the Washington Huskies.
Thomas played three seasons with the Kings, one with the Phoenix Suns and two with the Celtics before Tuesday’s trade.
The Irving/Thomas trade is the blockbuster of the off season with fans and analysts buzzing about which team got the better deal.
“Are the Celtics better than they were last season? Possibly. They’ll be different, for sure,” said ESPN staff writer Chris Forsberg.
But not all analysts feel the same way.
“I still feel like the team gave up too much, and I’ll miss Thomas,” said espnW’s D’Arcy Maine.
Northern Colorado students have also weighed in on the off season shocker.
“Cleveland got the better deal by far,” said senior journalism major Stephen Rice. “They get a similar player in Thomas plus a strong forward, center and first rounder.”
Senior business major Joe Palisoul isn’t too sure about the trade.
“It seems like Boston won,” said Palisoul. “But honestly the Cavs needed the better defender and Thomas is just as good as Irving.”
Fans can find out which team got the short end of the stick on October 17 when the Cavs and Celtics face off in the 2017 NBA season opener.