The biggest story of the past NBA offseason was that of Kyrie Irving requesting to be traded away from the Cleveland Cavaliers. He got his wish as he was sent to the Boston Celtics before this NBA season began, but the team was under no obligation to fulfill his wish.
The point guard still had a couple of years remaining on his contract with the Cavs, and since he was considered to be their future, they could have just hanged on to him and ride the storm until he changed his mind.
However, instead, Cleveland traded him to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Žižić, and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round draft pick as well as 2020 second-round draft pick via the Miami Heat.
Ultimately though, Cavaliers head coach Tyronn Lue actually didn't want to give Irving away, as he wanted to hold on to him to see if his mind would change just like Kobe Bryant did when he requested a trade from the Los Angeles Lakers in the mid-2000s.
ESPN recently did an interview with Cavs General Manager Koby Altman, where they stated he was advised by Lue to hold onto Irving, just like the Lakers did when Lue's former teammate Bryant demanded a trade.
Altman said: "We wanted to figure out, is this real? Is Kyrie someone we might want to bring back and say, 'Hey, look, players have figured it out in the past. You're going to figure it out. We're going to still be really good, we're going to be winning games, so it's not going to be all awful.' You know what I mean? So thinking about the parameters of that, the implications of that was something we were also always debating."
The move to trade Irving could define Altman's time at the Cavaliers, as it might be the biggest decision he makes as the team's general manager. Yet, despite Lue's suggestion, he made a move for the Celtics' Thomas. He believes though he made the best move possible.
"You can't get better trading a four-time All-Star going into his prime and a 25-year-old point guard going into his prime," Altman said, "but it gives you a unique opportunity to shuffle the deck and figure out long-term planning, but also figure out what goes around LeBron that's going to help us win a championship."
With Thomas now back playing on the court following his long absence due to injury, we're closer to finding out if this was the right move to make. Even though Irving has played great with Boston, there's still a chance Thomas does well for the Cavs too.
We should have a better answer as to who won this trade by the end of the season, and if Lue was right that Cleveland should have ridden out the Irving storm.News Now - Sport News