In what was originally perceived to be a relatively even deal, it’s becoming more and more apparent just how much of a mastermind Boston Celtics President Danny Ainge is for pulling off the Kyrie Irving trade.
The Celtics shipped away Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and two draft picks in exchange for Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers. Though one of those picks was the highly-coveted Brooklyn Nets first-rounder, the trade looks even worse for Cleveland now as they found out during last night’s lottery that it amounted to only the 8th overall pick instead of top three like some were expecting. According to The Athletic’s Jason Lloyd, a Cavs player midseason called Danny Ainge a ‘f—— thief’ after another disappointing loss. (h/t Yahoo Sports):
“Danny Ainge is a f***ing thief,” he said. No explanation needed.
After last night’s lottery, this is likely an even more widespread feeling around the Cavs. When the Irving trade was made, Cleveland was surely expecting to get higher than an 8th overall pick, along with a starting point guard replacement in Thomas.
Instead, the Cavs dealt both Thomas and Crowder during this year’s trade deadline for a collection of pieces including Rodney Hood, George Hill, Jordan Clarkson, and Larry Nance Jr.
Though it seemed at first that these moves on deadline day revamped their team, this has proven to not be the case, especially in the playoffs. Through their first two series and into the Conference Finals, Cleveland’s role players have strung together putrid performances, directly correlating to their current 2-0 series hole.
There’s no doubt Danny Ainge is one of the true masterminds across NBA front offices, and the Kyrie Irving deal from last summer just proved it even further.