When an NBA trade hits the news, everyone is quick to pick a winner and a loser. The latest one involves the Cleveland Cavaliers trading their discontent superstar Kyrie Irving for the Boston Celtics' All-Star isaiah thomas, as well as Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 unprotected first-round pick. While many have viewed it as a fair deal, if one looks closer at the implications then one should come to the conclusion that the Celtics are the clear winners.

Irving better than Thomas

Firstly, one thing that is clear is that Kyrie Irving is a better overall player than Isaiah Thomas.

Thomas averaged more points last season (28.9 points compared to Irving's 25.2 points per game), but one has to take into consideration that all the Celtics' offense was dictated by him.

Irving has learned to share the shots with none other than LeBron James. And even in LeBron's shadow, Irving has been able to prove that he is one of the deadliest offensive machines in the league, especially down the stretch in games. He was the Cavaliers' closer and not James.

Irving is also less of a defensive liability than Thomas. Irving is not a solid defender, but he can have encouraging defensive moments when he wants to. At 5 ft 9 in, Thomas can do little to stop the opposing guards in the NBA, and the NBA has never been more loaded with talent at that position.

Irving is entering his prime at age 25, and Thomas will be exiting his at age 28, and NBA history has shown us that undersized guards usually become less relevant when they approach or surpass age 30.

Irving makes Celtics better

Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports that Irving was "thrilled" to hear he had become a Boston Celtic, and the organization was confident that it had a "great chance" to re-sign him.

Irving has at least two more years left on his contract.

Irving will now get what he wanted, which is to lead a different franchise. He will fit in nicely with a solid group that intends to take its level to higher heights, and Irving can help them do just that. He can also form a formidable duo with Gordon Hayward; the two could learn to play off each other.

Irving has experience playing off the ball, but he will be the primary threat on the offensive end.

Thomas will fade behind LeBron

It remains to be seen how Thomas will adapt to the LeBron-system. Thomas, who has become accustomed to holding the ball as long as he wished with the Celtics, will now have to learn to play off the ball alongside LeBron in the Cavaliers. But it will be difficult for Thomas to avoid the physicality that comes with playing off the ball and coming off screens. He can no longer bring up the ball every time and use his size to his advantage in pick-and-roll situations. It will more difficult for Isaiah to mask his deficiencies due to his size. In addition, he could leave in free agency next summer as he only has one year left in his contract

Not enough to convince LeBron to stay

Thomas could be a one-year rental.

The Cavaliers could let Thomas leave in free agency next year. They might be unwilling to pay him a max deal, which could be similar to the Celtics' recent thought process. Crowder, who was no longer necessary in a Boston team with two small forwards like Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum, can be a solid role player for the Cavs, but it is unlikely that he will earn a starting job.

The Nets' 2018 first-round pick looks like it will be high, so the Cavaliers will probably secure a talented rookie. However, LeBron, 32, is not going to become patient with his teammates at this stage of his career. So, is the deal valuable enough to convince LeBron to stay next year? The answer is no. Thomas could be there for a single year and their 2018 lottery pick will not help LeBron's cause of winning right now.

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