The Cavaliers have agreed to send Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in exchange for a trade package anchored by Isaiah Thomas and a first-round draft pick and rounded out by Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical.
The draft pick is the Nets’ unprotected first-round pick, which Boston acquired in the 2013 trade that sent Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett to Brooklyn.
A trade has seemingly been weeks in the making for Irving, who reportedly told the Cavaliers that he wanted to be traded after the NBA Finals and has since been the subject of a near-constant drip of rumors about distancing himself from his teammates and the front office. It’s been more or less clear for a while now that Cleveland would have to trade him, but now they’ve done so with maybe the best outcome imaginable for the team: swapping one of the league’s best point guards for another, plus adding a top draft pick with a bit of solid veteran depth in Crowder and a young project in Zizic. That’s not to say that Irving and Thomas are wholly interchangeable—they aren’t, and Boston gets a meaningful upgrade here with Irving’s additional year of team control and his slightly better defense—but for Cleveland to walk away with a package as deep and well-rounded as this one without having to take a serious step back at point guard is something of a win in and of itself.
The Celtics open their season against the Cavaliers in Cleveland.
Update (8:50 p.m. ET): It’s official.