I hate everything about this drawn out process but here we are. The Cavs are requesting additional compensation after their doctors got a look at Isaiah Thomas’ hip. So what do they want and what are the Celtics willing to give them? Rumors are starting to trickle out.
Woj went on SportsCenter and reported that the Cavs are going to “inquire about” Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown, but he immediately (and correctly) laughed that off. Watch the video yourself and you’ll see that he thinks that they’ll be seeking a 1st round pick.
The Celtics, as you can imagine, they believe that they gave Cleveland all the information that they would need to evaluate Thomas and compensated them properly for the injury risk. In short, they don’t want to give them anything else.
But will they give up an additional asset just to get this deal over with? Perhaps, but it won’t be a lot.
My prediction is that this will drag on a few days and the Cavs and Celtics will ultimately agree on a 2nd rounder or perhaps a lottery protected 1st rounder.
Of course the nuclear option for both sides is to void the deal and start over. The Cavs have a little more leverage here because Kyrie was already disgruntled and they could simply put him back on the market. It would be a lot more awkward for Thomas and Jae Crowder to return to Boston.
On the other hand, I find it highly unlikely that Cleveland would get as good a deal for Kyrie as they got from the Celtics, which is why they accepted it in the first place. Dragging this out and trying to squeeze the Celtics for more assets seems like bad form to me.
The shame in all of this is how Isaiah Thomas could be impacted. In the near term, he goes from being an MVP candidate and the beloved darling of the Boston fanbase, to a second-fiddle, damaged goods player on a lame-duck team waiting on LeBron’s next Decision. There’s a pretty good chance that this will end up hurting his leverage when he’s a free agent next summer. So much for that Brinks Truck.
So we continue to wait and see who wins this staring contest.