One of the biggest blockbusters in modern NBA history has come full circle, as the Cleveland Cavaliers reportedly will re-open negotiations on the Kyrie Irving trade after concerns over Isaiah Thomas’ Cleveland physical put the deal in jeopardy, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
After the Cavaliers completed their trade physical of Thomas Friday in Cleveland, their concern about the severity of his hip labrum tear has led to them reconsidering the current terms of the trade. The two sides are in for a standoff, with the Cavaliers potentially arguing that the Celtics under-disclosed the amount of progress Thomas has made in his recovery from injury per Woj. Thomas has been expected to return by training camp based on his own comments and the generally positive progress reports disseminating from coach Brad Stevens and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge throughout July and August.
The Celtics initially agreed to trade Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the unprotected Brooklyn Nets 2018 first-round pick for Kyrie Irving on Monday. The Celtics and Cavaliers then announced the trade and Ainge held a media address to discuss the trade, in which he admitted that Thomas’ injury was part of the motivation to complete the trade.
However, the Cavaliers now plan to negotiate for further compensation to reflect the apparently elevated risk associated with Thomas’ injury. The deadline for players to report to their new teams is this Wednesday at 10 am and they must pass their physical by Thursday at 10 am for the trade to be consummated based on NBA guidelines. Cleveland and Boston can mutually agree to extend this deadline if a standoff on a renegotiation ensues.
Both teams are highly motivated to execute this trade, as the market for Irving will not be as strong as the package Boston has provided. The Celtics are just as interested in completing the trade, as Thomas’ hip injury has put at least a portion of his season in jeopardy according to Wojnarowski and the difficulty of re-integrating Thomas, Crowder, and Zizic into the team after trading them will be a major challenge.