Kyrie Irving got his wish and the Celtics got the star fans have been craving for years.
The Cavaliers and Celtics finalized a trade Tuesday that sends Irving from the Cavaliers to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Nets' 2018 first-round pick. Irving had asked for a trade out of Cleveland earlier this summer, and the Cavs obliged him.
"Kyrie is one of the best scorers in the NBA. He has proven that on the biggest stage, the NBA Finals, the last three years," Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. "He’s been an NBA Champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist, and a four-time All-Star. For all he’s accomplished, we think his best years are ahead of him."
The rumor mill surrounding a potential Irving trade had quieted in recent weeks, but it always seemed likely he would be playing for a different team during the upcoming season.
While the Cavaliers received a good haul in return for Irving's services, it was still shocking to see Cleveland agree to send him to an Eastern Conference rival. Irving now has the chance to be the face of a storied franchise and will immediately have an opportunity to lead his new team to the NBA Finals.
Despite competing in three straight NBA Finals — winning one — the Cavs seemed to endure some discord this offseason with Dan Gilbert failing to renew former general manager David Griffin's contract.
LeBron James exit rumors started to swirl shortly after, followed by Irving's desire to move to a different team.
Turmoil aside, the Cavs will likely start James, Thomas, Crowder, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson next season. They could also add Dwyane Wade and some point and will be among the favorites to challenge the Warriors for the title.
Things just got more interesting in the Eastern Conference with the Celtics acquiring a bona fide star to lead the way.