Cleveland Cavaliers star LeBron James has had enough with fans turning on players, coming to the defense of new teammate Isaiah Thomas after angry Celtics fans burned Thomas' jersey following Tuesday's blockbuster trade. That does not really sound like it will appeal too much to a player like James, who is all about winning championships at this stage of his career. It was an absolute pleasure watching him battle in a Celtics uniform, as he turned himself into an All-Star and an MVP candidate while carrying the team to the playoffs and, ultimately, to the Eastern Conference Finals past year.
Koby Altman had a dilemma when he became the Cavs' GM last month. He also wanted to be the focal point of a team.
While the addition of Jae Crowder certainly brings a boost to the Cavs' defense, it's hard to see Tyronn Lue benching LeBron James or Kevin Love at either forward spot or playing them out of position for long stretches just to fit him into the fold. Unlike LeBron James leaving the Cavaliers for the Miami Heat in 2011, it was not the two-time All-Star's decision to be traded and it is unfortunate considering the circumstances.
Ironically, the Celtics' acquisition of Irving is in some ways, the greater gamble. While they moved some of their trading assets such as Crowder and the Nets pick, Irving is an immediate upgrade over Thomas.
Kyrie Irving is a Boston Celtic because Danny Ainge isn't a fool. Thomas missed the last three games of last year's Eastern Conference with a hip injury, and Pluto said he's hearing "whispers" the player may still struggle with the injury early in Training Camp to the early season.
Brown was the No. 3 overall pick in the 2016 National Basketball Association draft out of the University of California, and he averaged 6.6 points and 2.8 rebounds per game as a rookie. It's similar to the Clippers' unprotected first-round pick that helped the Cavaliers land Irving first overall in 2011.
But when it comes down to it, getting Irving was real, Davis?
Former NBA front office executive Ben Falk notes that Crowder's teams have performed better with him on the court during each season of his career, though past year was the biggest overall differential.