San Antonio Spurs lose Kyrie Irving sweepstakes to Celtics

By Rob Wolkenbrod
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: Kyrie Irving
CLEVELAND, OH - MAY 23: Kyrie Irving /

The San Antonio Spurs were involved in the Kyrie Irving sweepstakes, but the Boston Celtics acquired the All-Star point guard.

On Tuesday night, the San Antonio Spurs and almost any other team involved in the hunt for Kyrie Irving lost out. The Vertical’s Shams Charania reported the Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers reached an agreement on a deal. It will send Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick. This came shortly came ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported that talks were escalating between the two sides.

Thomas developed into a one of the top scoring point guards in the NBA in the 2016-17 season. He averaged 28.9 points and is on an expiring contract for 2017-18.

Crowder has a team-friendly deal that keeps him on the Cavaliers for the next three years, for approximately $21 million. He signed a five-year, $35 million deal with Boston in 2015.

Zizic is a 2016 first-round pick of Boston’s. The Croation center has yet to play a NBA game.

The 2018 first-round pick from Brooklyn came via the Paul Pierce-Kevin Garnett trade of 2013. This selection is expected to be high, given the Nets’ struggles over the past few seasons.

This shakes the Eastern Conference, with one of its best players going from one top team to the other. Trades like this don’t happen often, so any potential ramifications will be interesting, along with a possible Cavaliers-Celtics rematch in the 2018 Eastern Conference Finals.

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For the Spurs, how big of a chance they had at Irving is unknown. They made an offer, but the package never came out in any reports. It also means they won’t have to worry about the Duke product going to a Western Conference organization, unless he chooses to do so in 2019 free agency.

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This is certainly one of the biggest moves of the NBA offseason. Could there be more to come?