The Cleveland Cavaliers finally moved away from the Kyrie Irving drama after trading the All-Star guard to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a first-round pick. The trade, as reported by ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, is pending physical of the players involved (especially with Thomas who is nursing a hip injury) but all directions are pointing towards the completion of the deal.

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The Blockbuster Trade

The Cavs ended months of drama created by Irving’s trade request to get out of Cleveland by sending him to Eastern Conference rival, the Celtics. By letting the superstar join the C’s, the Cavs acquired another All-Star caliber playmaker in Thomas, a perimeter defensive-specialist in Crowder and a serviceable young big man in Zizic. However, the trade piece that sweetened the pot is the Brooklyn Nets’ first-round pick in 2018.

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Meanwhile, Celtics’ general manager Danny Ainge has finally created the Big 3 he’s been envisioning for years. Irving joined fellow All-Stars Gordon Hayward and Al Horford while the club retained the service of Marcus Smart, Jaylen Brown, Marcus Morris, and this year’s no.3 pick Jayson Tatum, who showed high potential during his Summer League campaign.

The Cavs – Building for future with/without LeBron

Cavalier's general manager Koby Altman somewhat delivered the goods in his first major transactions as the team’s top front-office man.

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Cleveland has been trying to pull off a deal that would hit the organization’s short and long-term goals. The Irving trade to Boston allowed the Cavaliers to acquire three key players who can keep the team in title run this coming season. Thomas, who is coming off a career year (28.9 ppg on 46% FG and 37% 3pt), will be filling the void left by Irving, while Crowder providing toughness at four or three spots.

Zizic, on the other hand, gives the Cavs another big body on that frontline.

Again, the biggest trade asset the Cavs acquired from the Celtics is the Nets’ 2018 first-rounder that could turn into the top pick in next year’s draft. With LeBron’s future in Cleveland hanging in the balance, the Cavs could use the pick to get another transcendental player in the mold of Duke Marvin Bagley III next year.

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The Celtics – Full Rebuild Complete

10 years after Ainge created the triumvirate of Paul Pierce, Ray Allen, and Kevin Garnett, the Celtics GM has formed a new power trio with Irving, Hayward, and Horford. Boston exceeded expectations the past couple of season, and head coach Brad Stevens has played a major part in their recent rise. Now, it’s championship or bust for the Celtics as they enter next season with a loaded roster.

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Indeed, the trade put the Celtics among the elites in the association with the Golden State Warriors, San Antonio Spurs, Houston Rockets and the Cavs. Still, it's a big gamble for Ainge as Irving won't be much of an improvement from Thomas on the defensive end. A high-risk, high-reward scenario indeed.

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