Tim MacLean: My initial reaction is that I like the trade. It's tough to give up the Brooklyn pick and a solid role player on a good contract like Jae Crowder but the Celtics just got a 25-year-old offensive dynamo with plenty of room to grow. It's clear now that Boston had no desire to pay Isaiah Thomas the max next summer, so getting someone younger, for less money is a win in my opinion. I think both teams made out good in the deal and I'm excited to see how Brad Stevens incorporates Kyrie.
Simon Pollock: I have to admit, I was thrown when the deal came through with the BKN pick going to Cleveland. That flew in the face of the initial reports, which looked like Boston would clearly be winning the deal. Instead, the inclusion of the high-value pick really evens the playing field. It takes away one of the shots the Celtics have at Bagley or Porter, and sends it to a direct competitor –one who could retain Lebron James if he opts to stay.
Then I started thinking about three things.
1) We're not talking enough about the immediate value the C's picked up with Morris. I'd venture a guess that he's more valuable than Crowder as a scorer in the long run. And I think he'll be as good a defender. Splitting minutes there would've been rough.
2) Even without a look at next year's top prospects via the Nets' pick, the Celtics are stacked with promise at PF and C. Beyond a capable starter in Baynes (alongside Horford), I think we have a lot to look forward to in Theis amd Ojeleye.
3) You can't forget about Stevens, who himself might be the x-factor in this deal. As much as IT might've been born a leader, it was Stevens who helped bring it out and facilitate his rise to All-NBA performance. It wasn't long ago that we were talking about IT's clashes with Boogie and his listlessness in Phoenix alongside Bledsoe and Knight.
If Stevens can build a system for IT to overcome his height and all of his doubters, he can build lineups that help Irving reach his full potential.
Now, somebody pour me a half glass of Guiness + a half a shot of Jameson and Bailey's.
Jeff Nooney: Danny finally overpaid in a trade, but it may be worth the cost. Kyrie is a uniquely talented scorer. He can create his own shot against anyone, and might be the best finisher in the NBA. More importantly, he’s only 25. If Stevens gets him to buy-in on defense, the sky is the limit.
It’s still brutal to give up IT after all he’s done here. Even though his time was brief, he truly personified the Celtics teams of this era. And Boston will miss Jae’s shooting, defense, and toughness. Plus the potential of the Brooklyn pick. There’s a great argument to just run it back with the guys that sparked the rebuild. But sentimentality has never been Ainge’s game. Boston is only in this position today because he traded away Pierce and KG. Ultimately he’s only after championships. When you don’t have LeBron, KD or the best shooter of all-time, that means taking risks like this. Maybe it all blows up in his face, or maybe he looks like a genius in a few years. Either way, this season is going to be exciting.