The Cleveland Cavaliers are reportedly close to finalizing the trade that would send Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for a trade package highlighted by Isaiah Thomas. Many NBA pundits view the Cavaliers as the winner of the deal, regardless of Isaiah Thomas’ injury status, because of the amount of talent they acquired, not to mention the coveted Brooklyn Nets’ pick (potential top-5 pick). However, Cleveland could have gotten a much better package out of trading Irving, if the All-Star guard just informed the front-office about his trade request weeks earlier.

The blockbuster trade that never was

According to Jason Lloyd of the Athletics, the Cavs almost pulled off the trade that would have sent Irving to the Phoenix Suns in a three-team trade with the Indiana Pacers. Cleveland would have acquired Paul George and Eric Bledsoe, fortifying their starting lineup. The Suns would have netted Irving and Channing Frye while the Pacers acquired the Suns’ no.4 pick (Josh Jackson), Iman Shumpert and Jared Dudley in the process.

Llyod added that former Cavs general manager David Griffin was reportedly close to finalizing what would have been an all-in move, but the deal fell apart when owner Dan Gilbert decided to relieve Griffin from his position as the team’s top front-office man.

LeBron James, who has the final say in every Cavs' move, also nixed the idea of trading his running-mate since he still had no idea about Irving’s trade motive at that time, as confirmed by Vince Grzegorek of

As everybody knows by now, Irving asked the Cavaliers front-office to trade him out of his desire to step out of LeBron’s shadow.

Despite efforts to repair relationships between both stars, the Cavaliers eventually traded Irving to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick. The deal hits a roadblock after Thomas’ physical showed far greater damage in his hip than previously thought. However, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN is confident the trade will eventually get finalized this week.

Cavs missing two-way players

The blockbuster three-way trade would have given the Cavaliers two reliable two-way players that they sorely missed in the series against the Golden State Warriors. George, who was eventually traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo, could have given LeBron another versatile wing that can create his own shot and guard the best perimeter player on the opposing team. Bledsoe, although Irving is miles better offensively, would have provided stability at the point guard position for the Cavs on both ends of the floor.