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Cavs do their best in a zero-sum game with Irving trade

08/22/2017, 8:09pm EDT

Kyrie Irving was traded to the Boston Celtics for Isiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and 2018 first-round draft pick.

Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas have swapped squads in a late-summer blockbuster trade. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Stop me if you've heard this before, but Cleveland was in a no-win situation.

This time it was the Cavaliers who were faced with a tough decision when point guard Kyrie Irving forced their hand with a trade demand this summer. Remarkably, they made out as well as could be hoped for when they shipped Irving to the Boston Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn's 2018 unprotected first-round pick, according to sources.

Irving is one of the three best point guards in the game right now. When he announced recently his desire to escape LeBron James' shadow, it looked like the Cavs were doomed once again. This piece falls, then that piece, and finally, it all comes tumbling in.

True, Thomas isn't on the level of Irving, but he's darn close. The diminutive point guard was a darkhorse candidate for MVP last year after helping lead the Celtics to the best record in the Eastern Conference, averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists in the regular season.

Throw Crowder's career averages of 8.9 points and 3.8 rebounds, and the deal begins looking better and better.

But let's be honest and ask the real question -- what does this do for James and his future in Cleveland? The tough answer is, not much. James had his mind made up what he wants to do and where he'll be after next season before this deal was made.

So just in case that decision takes his talents elsewhere — again — better be ready to enjoy at least one season of the LeBron-and-Isaiah show.

Contact Jeremy Schneider at

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