We finally have some movement on the Kyrie Irving trade talks with Thursday’s deadline looming.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have reportedly finally asked the Boston Celtics for more compensation to complete the trade. According to a report from ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the Celtics are considering what they would be willing to part with as the league-wide bidding war for Irving stays open.
The Cavs are no doubt using this delayed break to gauge what offers still exist around the league in order to gain leverage over the Celtics. The Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round pick is still the best asset that has been attached to Irving. However, with the possibility of Thomas missing a significant portion of the season, the Cavs run the risk of wearing out LeBron James if they don’t receive more assets.
From Lowe’s report:
It looks unlikely the Cleveland Cavaliers will pry a better haul than the Boston Celtics' standing offer of Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected pick in the 2018 draft -- even with Thomas' status so uncertain due to a lingering hip injury. That may embolden Boston to draw the line at one or two more second-round picks after Cleveland finally asked them Tuesday night for extra compensation
He also outlined what other offers may currently be available for Irving at the moment were the Cavs to void their deal with the Celtics:
The Milwaukee Bucks lurk on the fringes of the Irving bidding with an offer centered around Malcolm Brogdon, the reigning NBA Rookie of the Year, and Khris Middleton, sources say. The Bucks have not yet put a first-round pick on the table, sources say, but the bet here is that they would to get the deal done -- or if Irving showed any interest in staying in Milwaukee long-term.
My read on this situation is that the Celtics are showing a willingness to part with more assets. The leap from two second round picks to a late first round pick isn’t hard to imagine.
For the Cavs to acquire the Nets pick and a late first round pick would be a huge get. Plus, this deal would allow Cleveland to trade its own first round pick. It would give them the ability to utilize one or more picks to bring in more help for this season, or even flip Isaiah Thomas for a point guard that fits better, is available this season and isn’t on an expiring deal.
Regardless of what direction they choose to go with those assets, it would give the team legitimate options and a warchest of assets. If the Celtics are already willing to throw in more compensation, it’s hard to imagine this deal doesn’t get done soon.