There is little precedent to a deal of this magnitude ever getting done. Rival contenders never trade with each other. Per Elias Sports, conference finalists or NBA Finalists have never made a deal after meeting the previous post season. With the recent revelation that Isaiah Thomas’ faulty hip has raised concerns to Cleveland Cavaliers officials, this trade agreement has officially pushed the NBA off its rails.
Adrian Wojnarowksi’s recent report that the Cavaliers could threaten to veto the Kyrie Irving – Isaiah Thomas trade should have both the Celtics and Cavaliers scrambling for a solution. Wojnarowski also indicates that the Cavs are seeking an additional asset in a renegotiated trade.
“Unfathomable. I really can’t even wrap my head around it,” ESPN’s Chris Forsberg said on Sunday’s latest episode of Celtics Beat.
“I just don’t know how you go backwards. I think they’re [the Celtics] in too deep. I think we’re in for a standoff here and if I’m Danny Ainge, I look at what I’m giving up and say, ‘yea, no.’”
Make no mistake about it: an annulment would be catastrophic for both sides.
The Celtics would be getting back a couple of unhappy teammates in Thomas and Jae Crowder with Thomas’ hip injury throwing is availability into limbo.
According to reports, the Celtics believe they were forthcoming in their medical assessment of Thomas and his physical status. Moreover, this status was believed to be communicated to the Cavaliers during conversations leading up to last week’s trade.
Crowder’s contract at about $7 million per for the next three seasons and his versatility in today’s modern NBA are highly coveted and would be easy for Danny Ainge to flip.
Although the Celtics would be getting back the highly coveted Brooklyn Nets 2018 first-round pick, a cancellation of the trade would also send back a young transcendent superstar in Irving that Ainge has prioritized.
By including Thomas in the trade, Ainge seems to have concluded that Thomas’ age, size, and durability issues aren’t worth a max contract next summer despite finishing 5th in MVP voting last season.
The Quicken Loans Arena wouldn’t exactly be a joyful place of inhabitance for Irving and the Cavs if this trade fails to materialize either. Irving previously asked for a trade, wanting no part of a return to the only professional team he has known. The Cavs would need to refocus efforts on trading Irving in a market that had mostly failed to provide the Cavs what they had been coveting: a projected high lottery pick.
LeBron James is inching his way out of the door to Los Angeles and Irving has made it clear that he wants out of Cleveland. The Cavs have the makings of a combative situation should this deal go awry.
Both teams can agree to extend their deadline from 10 A.M. on Wednesday to 10 A.M. on Thursday to buy more time.
Forsberg on what the Celtics’ strategy should be during renegotiation talks and if they should give up additional assets to help get the deal completed: “Until two hours before whatever that [trade] deadline ends up being, it’s nothing. I let them stew. I let them sweat.”