The drama between the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers has finally ended, with both teams finalizing a trade that will send Kyrie Irving to Boston.
Irving's trade request, which seemed to come out of nowhere, sent a shockwave through the league. One of the best young point guards, and key member of the Cavaliers, was ready to move on to greener pastures. It just happened to be Celtics-green pastures he landed on.
Boston general manager Danny Ainge has been ever-so-careful about burning the bevy of assets he's been accruing over the past several seasons. Finally, the window was open and Ainge decided it was time to jump through it. That, in itself, is a telling factor.
It seems unlikely Boston would have made the trade if Ainge wasn't confident in the long-term potential of Irving in a Celtics uniform. The Celtics even threw in an extra second-round pick to finalize the trade with the Cavaliers wavering on making the trade officially official.
With his trade wish granted, Kyrie is reportedly "ecstatic" to be headed to the Celtics, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. Irving "understands" the significance of being a part of a Boston franchise that exalts a tradition matched by few teams in the NBA.
Irving is also looking forward to playing for one of the most respected minds in basketball in head coach Brad Stevens, who was also a key figure that helped recruit Gordon Hayward to Boston. It's been a huge summer for the Celtics, who are hoping the big moves they've made elevate them beyond the Eastern Conference Finals.
It's been a summer of change for a team that went into the postseason as the No. 1 seed. Four of their five starters have been swapped out, and there's reason to question if making such significant, sweeping moves was the right thing to do.
Ultimately, though, Boston has set itself up in better position for the long-term if nothing else. A core duo of Hayward and Irving is enough to always be a threat, and over time they can continue building around them. Irving is under contract for a minimum of two seasons, but it sounds like he's thrilled for what his future with the franchise holds.
Watching Boston's new team learn how to play together, and seeing what Stevens has up his sleeve, is going to be one of the most interesting stories to follow next season.