August 23, 2017, 2:28 pm
We never learn do we?
There is no dull moment in today’s NBA.
Much of the media was on vacation (even the famous “Woj” was in Rome) with quiet weeks leading up to the preseason. And then it happened:
Celtics are sending Thomas, Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn's 2018 first-round pick for Kyrie Irving, league sources tell The Vertical. https://t.co/gdaT9UjVGl
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) August 22, 2017
Wow. A swap of the first pick in the 2011 draft for the last pick in the 2011 draft.
It’s hard to remember a time when two obvious conference contenders swapped superstars. Let’s take a look at what all of this means.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR CLEVELAND
Acquiring Isiah Thomas and losing Kyrie Irving has the potential to be a wash on the offensive side of the floor. Thomas played AAU basketball with Kevin Love, which should keep chemistry in check and perhaps elongate their tenure with the team. However, Cleveland’s defense on the point guard depth chart is now awful with Thomas, Derrick Rose and Jose Calderon to stand in the way. Yikes.
Jae Crowder fills a major need of the “3-and-D” nature that the Cavs have severely lacked in the finals. J.R. Smith, Iman Shumpert and Kyle Korver were too one-dimensional. Crowder can help on both ends of the floor, which is pivotal against a potential re-re-re-rematch with the Warriors.
Unfortunately, the dark cloud of LeBron James‘ probable 2018 departure casts a strong shadow on any future beyond this season. If LeBron bolts, it will leave a bleak future that will make his other Cavs teammates also want to go elsewhere.
That is why it was smart for the Cavs to receive Brooklyn’s first round pick. They now have an attractive asset if they want to go all-in for this final LeBron season. If they keep the pick, the Nets will be in the #TeamTank sweepstakes so a LeBron departure will at least leave them with a possible high pick to start a new era. Regardless, anyone that loses LeBron loses a top all-time player. They will never recover, but they have to try. The pick will help.
WHAT IT MEANS FOR BOSTON
The Celtics went all-in for Kyrie Irving, a player deserving of top-dog status in a conference starving for stars. In various moments throughout the NBA Finals, Irving displayed MVP potential even under LeBron’s shadow. He now has the permission to spread his wings, which should be a beauty to see.
The Celtics will start a lineup that looks something like this: Kyrie Irving, Jaylen Brown, Gordon Hayward, Marcus Morris and Al Horford. Under coach Brad Stevens, a player with the untapped ceiling as Kyrie Irving could take them to new heights.
Another subtle reason why the Celtics made this trade was to effectively end the Cavs dynasty. If there was any doubt that LeBron would leave, it’s all gone with this swap. The era is over and the Celtics are built for the future.
This move bodes well for both teams. The Cavs got much needed defense with Jae Crowder while swapping Kyrie for another offensive juggernaut. In 2017-18, they got a great deal. Meanwhile, the Celtics set themselves up with a young nucleus with a potential franchise guy in Kyrie Irving.
As far as the NBA goes, all loyalty is officially lost on both sides. If you blame players like LeBron and KD leaving for better teams, look no further than Danny Ainge‘s treatment of Isaiah Thomas after an amazing and emotional season. Sports can be a cruel business.
That’ll do it for Wednesday’s Daily Dish, offseason edition! As always, be sure to follow me on Twitter, I’m @RiazD. Don’t forget to follow all of our breaking news and rumors @HoopBallTweets. Enjoy the last days of summer!!
February 26, 2020, 3:07 pmMike ConleyPG, Utah Jazz
Mike Conley is expected to come off the bench starting on Wednesday against the Celtics.
He'll be replaced in the starting lineup by Royce O'Neale. Conley will still play significant minutes, but he has disappointed this season while O'Neale is renowned for his defense.
Source: The Athletic
February 26, 2020, 2:59 pmDamian LillardPG, Portland Trail Blazers
Damian Lillard (right groin strain) will not travel with the Blazers to face the Pacers on Thursday.
This isn't a major surprise, as he was already expected to miss the next couple of games. However, he could rejoin the team later on the road trip. C.J. McCollum owners should have some big numbers on the way while Lillard is out.
Source: Casey Holdahl on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 2:28 pmMalik MonkSG, Charlotte Hornets
Malik Monk has been suspended indefinitely for violating the league's anti-drug program.
Monk's suspension will last until he is deemed to be in "full compliance." Monk had been on a nice run in February, but this news certainly clouds his status going forward. His absence could provide an opportunity for Cody Martin to step up.
Source: Shams Charania on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 1:47 pmDario SaricPF, Phoenix Suns
Dario Saric will start Wednesday's game due to the injury to Kelly Oubre Jr.
Saric scored 14 points in only 16 minutes on Monday. Sporadic usage has really hurt his fantasy value, but he could be a decent DFS play against the Clippers.
Source: Gina Mizell on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 1:44 pmNorvel PelleC, Philadelphia Sixers
Norvel Pelle will miss Wednesday's game due to illness.
It's an upper respiratory ailment. Pelle has rebounding and shot blocking ability but simply doesn't play enough to hold fantasy value.
Source: Keith Pompey on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 1:42 pmEric GordonSG, Houston Rockets
Eric Gordon (bruised right knee) will not play during Wednesday's game.
Gordon was forced to leave Monday's game early. Ben McLemore should be the primary beneficiary of his absence.
Source: Jonathan Feigen on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 1:39 pmAndre DrummondC, Cleveland Cavaliers
Andre Drummond (left calf strain) has been ruled out of Wednesday's game.
It has not been a smooth transition for Drummond after being traded to the Cavs.
Kevin Love, Tristan Thompson, and Larry Nance Jr. could each receive a small bump in playing time against the Sixers. Cedi Osman will likely be relied upon more as well.
Source: NBA Injury Report
February 26, 2020, 1:31 pmDraymond GreenPF, Golden State Warriors
Draymond Green (right pelvic contusion) is expected to play during Thursday's game against the Lakers.
His return could mean fewer minutes for Kevon Looney and Eric Paschall. The Warriors have been very conservative with Green this season but he's worth owning for the rebounds, assists, and steals.
Source: San Francisco Chronicle
February 26, 2020, 1:17 pmEdmond SumnerPG, Indiana Pacers
Edmond Sumner (sore left hip) is considered questionable for Thursday's game against the Blazers.
Sumner hasn't played since February 8. He's not worth owning in fantasy.
Source: Jamie Goldberg on Twitter
February 26, 2020, 1:08 pmVictor OladipoSG, Indiana Pacers
Victor Oladipo (sore lower back) is listed as questionable for Thursday's game.
Oladipo hasn't played since leaving Friday's game but hopefully won't be out for much longer. He has struggled with his shot so far, but that can be expected after missing so much time. Aaron Holiday played 30 minutes on Tuesday in his absence.
Source: Jamie Goldberg on Twitter