After months of speculation, the biggest story of the NBA offseason has finally been concluded as Kyrie Irving has been traded away by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics.
Following his demand to be traded back in July, there was much speculation surrounding the 25-year-old future in the NBA and where he would be playing his basketball next season. We finally got an answer to that question earlier this week.
The point guard was traded to the Cavaliers' Eastern Conference rivals in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round draft pick. Irving and Thomas were part of the same draft class in 2011 as the first and last picks in the draft respectively.
Both Irving and Thomas have had very different careers in the NBA so far, with Irving becoming a megastar, while Thomas having to prove those that doubt him wrong because of his size. That criticism has been with him since the first time he played in the league for the Sacramento Kings.
Thomas remembers a story about his first meeting with LeBron James, his now new Cavaliers teammate, when he was a rookie with the Kings. He said Cleveland's icon gave him a special message after he was chase-down blocked by James. A story which he loves to tell according to Alex Kennedy of Hoops Hype.
"Welcome to the NBA, lil man," James said on that day.
Although it might not have been intentional, it's obviously still something which Thomas uses as some sort of inspiration to play at his best in the NBA. He probably can't wait to see LeBron for the first time as a member of the Cavaliers to remind him of this story.
Now Thomas and James are part of the same team, the biggest question now is when the former Celtics star will be able to make his debut for the Cavaliers following his hip injury from the playoffs last season.
At the moment, some reports have said Thomas will be ready for the start of camp, while others have said he could miss the beginning of the new NBA season, but Cleveland will be keeping their fingers crossed that this isn't the case. Otherwise, they might not see a return on the Irving trade until later than they thought, and this could set them back in the race for the number one seed in the Eastern Conference.News Now - Sport News