For the past 5 years or so, we’ve all been sitting back, waiting for “Trader Danny” to make his move.
First, it was the trade of sending Doc Rivers to LA, signaling the start of a new era, following the successful run of Pierce, KG, REDACTED, and Rondo. That squad finished with one championship and 2 finals appearances overall.
Then, the Brooklyn heist that resulted in multiple high-end lottery picks for KG, Pierce, and pieces.
Once Rondo was gone, the next generation of Celtics basketball began to take shape. With franchise harmony between Brad Steven’s coaching staff, Danny Ainge’s front office, and Wyc Grousbeck’s ownership, the rebuild took off running with multiple low-cost, high-upside trades that worked in the Celtics favor. Incrementally, the team got better every season under Stevens, and exponentially better once outcast Isaiah Thomas was acquired off of Phoenix’s scrap heap.
The one thing Celtics fans could always rest assured, is that Danny Ainge has the ability to remove all emotion out of potential transaction, and extract the best value for the team going forward. That’s how he was able to trade franchise mainstay Paul Pierce, swap Rondo for Jae Crowder, flip Jordan Crawford for a first round pick, not to mention dumping most of the roster in the initial KG trade in 2007 that started this amazingly successful reign for Boston. (After an absolute abysmal stretch in the 1990s from which my scars have yet to heal).
When news broke last month that Kyrie Irving was ready to part if King James for greener pastures, naturally the Celtics were immediately linked as a possible landing spot. While most fans and writers rejected the idea of trading Isaiah Thomas, who has become a beloved, folk-like hero for Boston. Isaiah Thomas seems to embody everything that Boston sports are about.
He praises the the fans and city of Boston any chance he has.
He plays with tremendous heart.
He respects the history of Celtics basketball, and his potential inclusion in the pantheon of Boston greats.
And most importantly: He has the “FUCK YOU” attitude as someone that has been numerously counted out, cut down, and underestimated his entire life.
THAT’S what’s at stake with any trade that involves moving Thomas out of Boston. How can the team ever expect to earn the fan bases trust if they ever move a player that so many have come to consider “their guy”?
If it brings in a player of Kyrie Irving’s pedigree, then that’s a great place to start.
(*UNPOPULAR OPINION ALERT*)
The Celtics are a better team, long term, if they swap Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving.
Was Isaiah Thomas fantastic this season? Absolutely.
Did he have a season for the ages? No doubt.
Can he replicate those numbers over a few seasons? Maybe.
Is his hip fully healed, and a non-issue moving forward? Hopefully?
Are the Celtics ready to sign a would-be 29 year-old, 5′ 9″ point guard to a max contract that would keep him in green until 35? ¯_(ツ)_/¯
When the Celtics shocked the world and were able to lure the #2 free agent on the market, Al Horford, to sign in Boston, it signaled two things: Boston had finally shaken the…..
(—BREAKING OVER THE WIRE: IRIVNG TO BOSTON FOR THOMAS, CROWDER, ZIZIC, AND THE 2018 BROOKLYN FIRST ROUND PICK, UN-FUCKING-PROTECTED)
I….I can’t. I can’t finish this article. Must take time to process….
Why include the Brooklyn pick unprotected?