The blockbuster trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics isn’t quite done yet. And for it to push through, the Cavs wanted a little bit more than the initial swap.
According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Cleveland is seeking another asset from Boston in order to complete the deal. The trade, which would send Kyrie Irving to Boston and Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets’ unprotected 2018 first round pick to Cleveland, started to fall apart when the Thomas underwent a physical in Cleveland. The Cavs then became concerned that he’d miss a substantial portion of next season, which also happens to be a potential walk year for LeBron James.
According to league rules, the Cavs and Celtics have until Wednesday at 10 a.m. to report a physical and until 10 a.m. on Thursday to have a physical passed. However, the two teams could mutually agree to extend the deadline.
Wojnarowski also reported that Cleveland and Boston discussed Thomas’ hip during trade talks and Boston believes it accounted for Thomas’ hip in the deal’s current framework. It seems that Thomas’ physical, which included an evaluation from a hip specialist from the Cleveland Clinic, gave the Cavs a new perspective on the deal.
What exactly the Cavs want to be added to the deal is unclear. Cleveland originally wanted rookie Jayson Tatum, but Boston wasn’t interested and remains uninterested. By the same logic, Jaylen Brown is likely unavailable. Boston does have protected picks from other teams — the Lakers’ 2018 first round pick, the Clippers’ 2019 first round pick and the Grizzlies’ 2019 first round pick — that they could add to the deal. The Lakers pick, which conveys if it falls between picks No. 2 and No. 5, is likely off limits to the Cavs. The Celtics also have their own first round picks and several second picks.
As far as players go, Cleveland could ask for either Marcus Smart or Terry Rozier, although the Cavs would seem to prefer a pick over a player.
Right now, it’s hard to say exactly what the Cavs will be able to get back from Boston if anything. Cleveland could still void the deal, take Irving back and flip him to another team. All that is clear is that this deal is not done quite yet.
Photo: Brad Penner, USA Today Sports