After waiting days to see if the trade would be completed, Kyrie Irving's trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics was confirmed earlier this week, finally bringing an end to one of the biggest stories of the NBA offseason.
The Cavaliers sent Irving to the Celtics, and in return, they received Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round draft pick, as well as a 2020 second-round draft pick via the Miami Heat eight days after the initial trade on August 22.
While most of the focus has been on if Thomas will be able to start paying back Cleveland's investment by being able to recover from his hip injury and play on the court, he isn't actually the most valuable asset of this trade in the team's eyes.
According to Cleveland.com, the most valuable asset in this trade was the Nets' 2018 first-round pick, which is projected to be a top five pick. The 2018 draft is expected to be a good one, so the Cavaliers should be able to get a good player with this pick. However, they may not hold onto this pick.
Cleveland.com has reported: "As owners of Brooklyn’s No. 1 pick, which could be a top-five pick in next year’s draft, Cleveland has fielded numerous calls already about a potential trade. It could be a part of a major trade package for the Cavs later this year, or, conceivably, the Cavs could make that pick next June.
"Cleveland also has its own first-round pick in 2018, which it can trade. The Cavs also have multiple trade exceptions and second-round picks, and are pleased with their assets for potential trades or to replenish the roster in the event of a rebuild."
The problem is, the Cavaliers are probably looking for a superstar in return for this pick, because of the uncertainty surrounding LeBron James with the team beyond next season. That's something which very few teams in the NBA would be able to provide, or would want to provide for Cleveland.