Los Angeles - Kyrie
Irving's blockbuster move to the Boston Celtics from the Cleveland
Cavaliers has been completed following a delay caused by concerns over
an injury to Isaiah Thomas, the teams confirmed.
A joint statement late on Wednesday said the trade agreed earlier this
month would go ahead, with Boston handing Cleveland an additional 2020
second round draft pick to smooth the deal.
Four-time All-Star guard Irving stunned the NBA earlier this year by
signalling his desire to seek a move, which the Celtics duly acted on in
a trade which sees Thomas, Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic head in the
opposite direction. Cleveland also receive a 2018 first-round draft pick
in the deal.
However the final confirmation was held up amid concerns over a hip injury that Thomas is currently recovering from.
The Cavs had initially sought an additional first-round pick or
another young player as insurance against Thomas's injury, a negotiating
gambit rejected by Boston.
Instead Boston has sent a 2020 pick to Cleveland.
"In conjunction with finalizing the trade involving Kyrie Irving,
Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a 2018 1st round pick the
Celtics acquired via Brooklyn, the Celtics and Cavaliers have agreed to
modify the terms of the trade such that Boston will also send Miami’s
2020 2nd round pick to Cleveland," the joint Celtics-Cavs statement
said. "The trade is now complete."
Thomas meanwhile had insisted earlier this week that his injury would
not prevent him from rediscovering his best form and fitness.
"There's never been an indication that I wouldn't be back, and
there's never been an indication that this is something messing up my
career," Thomas told ESPN on Tuesday.
"Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone
wants me to be, but I'm going to be back, and I'm going to be the same
player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that."