The future of Kyrie Irving was one of the biggest stories of the NBA offseason after he told his former team, the Cleveland Cavaliers, that he wanted to be traded away.
Eventually, the Boston Celtics managed to work out a trade with their Eastern Conference rivals to acquire Irving in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the rights to the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round draft pick, and the rights to the Miami Heat's 2020 second-round draft pick.
This ended up being one of the biggest trades of the offseason because of who and what was involved, and the risk both teams have taken. It's still unclear who has come out on top in this trade, and we probably won't know for sure for a couple more years, but the Celtics are definitely happy with the way it has concluded.
Celtics general manager Danny Ainge recently did an interview with CSNNE talking about the trade, and he explained how new signing Gordon Hayward and Al Horford gave him the confidence to trade away such a high draft pick for Irving.
Ainge said: "I think that in signing Al Horford (last offseason) and Gordon Hayward, I feel a responsibility to give them a chance, I think that Brooklyn pick could be very, very exciting. I think Cleveland could have a really good pick there, but it's probably going to be a big man that's 19 years old that probably needs a couple years to develop, and could develop into a franchise player.
"Kyrie is a proven, sure thing. A guy that's 25 who can really play right now. I think that's fair for (coach Brad Stevens), and that's fair for Gordon and Al, and also it will give a chance for Jayson (Tatum) and Jaylen (Brown) and all those guys to develop.
"We have some young guys who we're developing that are bright parts of the future, (including) Terry Rozier and Marcus Smart and Marcus Morris. We have a young team that we feel like we can have together for a while."
As previously mentioned, we'll still have to wait a couple more years to find out who has come out on top in this trade, but it certainly looks like Ainge has the faith in this team which he has assembled to get the job done on the court and officially take over the Eastern Conference.