The Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas deal seems to have contented both the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics. The Celtics get the better player in the deal and the Cavs rid themselves of a disgruntled star while also making the most of the situation.

The Celtics are the great winners. They were unwilling to pay Thomas a max extension, so, instead of letting the 28-year-old go for free next summer, Danny Ainge was able to get Irving, who is entering his prime at age 25, in exchange.

The loss of Jae Crowder, who no longer fit in a roster full of small forwards, and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 2018 first-round pick, which will come from a dubious draft class, will not hurt the Celtics' aspirations.

Cavaliers will win the East yet again

The Cavaliers are still the better team in the Eastern Conference. LeBron James is still playing at his usual level, and that is usually synonymous with success and dominance for his team. It is presumed that, at age 32, he will be similar to the player he was last season. And Kyrie Irving's replacement is none other an All-Star who averaged 29 points per game and finished fifth in the MVP race last season, Isaiah Thomas.

The Cavaliers are also a deeper squad than last season. Derrick Rose is a valuable addition off the bench, especially for the veteran's minimum deal. Rose can still use his athleticism to be productive in the paint. Rose can replace or play alongside Thomas in the backcourt.

Cleveland did not have offensive options like this in recent years. Who knows if someone by the name of Dwyane Wade will further help that backcourt anytime soon.

Jae Crowder will also probably come off the bench and bring his usual effort. He will buy LeBron some rest on the defensive end, and that is something both LeBron and the Cavs desperately needed.

In a potential NBA Finals rematch against the Golden State Warriors, Crowder's defensive presence would come in handy against the likes of Kevin Durant or Draymond Green, especially when the teams go small. In addition, Crowder is a solid three-point shooter, and that is crucial in the LeBron-system.

Celtics better, but it is not enough

The Celtics will be a better team next season, but they have not addressed other major weaknesses. The Celtics have replaced Isaiah Thomas with Kyrie Irving, so they have naturally improved. The improvement is not vast, but it gives them a better chance of becoming true contenders in the coming years. Irving will only get better and is not the defensive liability that Thomas is.

The Celtics potential lineup could look like this - Irving, Hayward, Tatum, Morris, and Horford. With Avery Bradley's departure, it looks like newly acquired All-Star Gordon Hayward will have to play many minutes as a shooting guard, as there are no pure shooting guards currently on the roster.

Jayson Tatum is a promising rookie with a polished offensive repertoire, but, like any other rookie, he will face difficulties to adapt to the pace of the NBA.

But the Celtics still need to address their big man problem. The Celtics were usually hammered on the boards due to their undersized big men. Amir Johnson has been replaced by Marcus Morris. But this replacement still does nothing to improve the team's ability to defend around the rim and rebound at an elite level. Al Horford needs major help in the paint.

At the end of the day, the Irving-Thomas trade brought the Celtics a bit closer to the Cavaliers, but the Cavs still have a more solid all-around team; therefore, they are still the easy favorites to emerge victorious out of the Eastern Conference.

But the NBA season has not started, nor has the free agency period ended, so we might still be in for more surprises.

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