The Boston Celtics made a blockbuster trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers this offseason that brought star point guard Kyrie Irving to Boston.
Under Irving's leadership, the Celtics have started the season on a tear, piling up an impressive 18-3 record through the first 21 games.
However, things have been a little different on Cleveland's end. Though the Cavs are playing much better after a slow start, point guard Isaiah Thomas, who was a key piece of the trade for Cleveland, hasn't been able to take the court yet while rehabbing a serious hip injury.
Irving really wanted out of Cleveland, but former Cavaliers GM David Griffin said he doesn't think the trade will be judged well looking back in a few years. He credited new Cleveland GM Koby Altman for doing what he had to do, as you can see in the SiriusXM video below, but added that giving up Irving will be a tough pill to swallow:
"Will it be judged historically as a good trade? No. I mean, it won’t be, because Kyrie’s going to be a special individual player," he said. "And the way this works from a social-media standpoint and a media-coverage standpoint, all they’re going to talk about is how good he is. But given the cards Koby Altman was playing at the time, given the circumstances they found themselves in, if you were dealing with the situation where LeBron refused to tell you unequivocally he’s staying in the organization, you don’t know what his long-term future is, you’re trying to win championships while he’s there and simultaneously set yourself up for a future run, I think the deal they put together was really well constructed.
"And I think it was a very good deal given the cards they were playing at the time. But do I think he’s going to be hailed as having made a great trade deep into the future? Probably not. But if he wins a championship, I know Koby doesn’t care. So, he had a subset of things he had to achieve, and I think if you know what those things are, he probably achieved them."
Obviously, the Irving trade swung the balance of power in the Eastern Conference, but the Cavaliers still have the best player on the planet in LeBron James, so it's unwise to count them out just yet.
If Cleveland can use the Brooklyn pick it landed in the Irving deal to bring in another star player at the trade deadline, the Cavs could dig themselves out from the hole of the Irving trade sooner rather than later and make a run at keeping LeBron this offseason.