LeBron James has been silent about Isaiah Thomas joining the Cavs, but he had plenty say about his own game Wednesday evening. James, who is working out in Los Angeles twice a day with trainer Mike Mancias and Cavs coaches and player development staff, posted to Instagram footage of him scrimmaging in a famous auxiliary gym on the campus of UCLA.
Sirius XM NBA: Kevin McHale thinks it is "scary" that Isaiah Thomas hasn't been cleared for basketball activities yet- McHale on IT hip injury
Isaiah Thomas was beloved by most Boston Celtics fans. Several of Thomas’ Celtics teammates, however, might have held a different opinion. NBA insider Chris Broussard revealed Wednesday, one day after the Celtics traded I.T. to the Cleveland Cavaliers in a blockbuster deal for All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving, that some players in Boston “weren’t really that fond of” Thomas, according to several NBA executives.
“I will tell you this, I spoke to several executives, or texted with several executives (Tuesday night), and a lot of them were saying that a lot of the players in Boston really weren’t that fond of Isaiah,” Broussard said on FS1’s “Undisputed” while discussing the trade with Shannon Sharpe and Skip Bayless. “We know he had those problems in Sacramento and in Phoenix. I didn’t know he was having those issues — before (talking with) these executives — in Boston.”
NESN: Isaiah Thomas reportedly rubbed some Celtics teammates the wrong way. Kelly Olynyk: This Preposterous! #RealOne
NESN: Isaiah Thomas reportedly rubbed some Celtics teammates the wrong way. Jared Sullinger: Lies lies and More Lies!!! Smfh. Y'all better than that!
Altman was extremely focused on the future in making this trade, a source said. This trade may give James much more faith in Altman as a general manager. It would be hard to believe that Altman could have landed a better trade than the Boston one. He did call the uninterested Warriors about Klay Thompson, a source said.
Isaiah Thomas gave his all to the Boston Celtics the last two seasons, turned himself into an All-Star and a clutch performer in the process, and had nothing to do with the trade that sent him to the Cleveland Cavaliers and brought back Kyrie Irving. So why are a couple of Celtics fans burning their Thomas jerseys?
"Just felt right," one Cavs front office source told ESPN when asked what finally led the team to settle on a deal with an Eastern Conference rival like Boston -- the team they beat in the conference finals just months ago -- after fielding phone calls from just about every team in the league inquiring about Irving.
Nikola Vucevic: When you wake up and just now find out about the cavs/celtics trade pic.twitter.com/OWULZA1j4B
“This trade needed to include both players and assets that we felt strongly could help us continue to compete for championships and we believe it does,” said Altman. “We look forward to Isaiah, Jae and Ante joining us and also felt that the unprotected first round pick in the deal was very important for us and our future as well.”
Adrian Wojnarowski: Boston has believed rest + rehab would return Thomas' hip to a full recovery. Cavs plan to monitor closely, anxious to give him physical.
Jeff Goodman: There was significant concern from Celtics about Isaiah Thomas' hip, source told ESPN. Turning 29, game is built on speed.
Scott Souza: #Celtics president Danny Ainge: The trade presented itself. It wasn't available earlier this summer the same opportunity (to get Irving).
Bill Doyle: Danny Ainge: "very, very difficult day" trading IT and Crowder, but he's excited about acquiring Irving.
The Boston Celtics announced today that they have acquired four-time All-Star and 2016 NBA Champion Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first round pick.
The Cleveland Cavaliers have agreed to send Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in a deal for Isaiah Thomas, league sources told The Vertical. The Celtics are sending Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and Brooklyn’s 2018 first-round pick to Cleveland, league sources told The Vertical.
Dave McMenamin: LeBron James on Isaiah Thomas during the 2017 playoffs: "I think he’s very special. He’s a special guy, special talent. Unique talent ..."
Jeff Goodman: Cavs agree to deal Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and 2018 Nets pick, source told ESPN.
Shams Charania: Cleveland and Boston have agreement on deal to send Kyrie Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas package to Cavs, sources tell The Vertical
Brian Windhorst: Cavs and Celtics on verge of a deal: Kyrie Irving for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and 2018 Nets pick unprotected, sources say
Dave McMenamin: CLE will receive BKN 2018 1st round pick - unprotected - from BOS in the trade that is currently being discussed, league source tells ESPN
Isaiah Thomas will have 7 years of service next summer as a FA. Cleveland would inherit his bird rights and could pay him a max salary starting at $30.6M.
Adam Himmelsbach: A league source confirms the Celtics have agreed to trade Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and 2018 Nets pick to Cle for Kyrie Irving.
Shams Charania: All-Star Kyrie Irving will waive his trade kicker to complete Cleveland's deal to Boston, league source tells The Vertical.
While the potential trade between Boston and Cleveland may center around a pair of All-Stars in Isaiah Thomas and Kyrie Irving, the key to this deal getting done may come down to rookie Jayson Tatum. A league source tells CSNNE.com that the Cavs didn’t want to do a deal with the Celtics if Tatum, taken with the third overall pick in last June’s NBA draft by Boston, wasn’t included.
A different league source said the two teams are negotiating now and that the inclusion of Tatum has been among the possible options as far as getting a deal done.
Adam Himmelsbach: Celtics have had strong interest in Kyrie ever since he hit the market. But they'd been unsure where they stood and unsure of Cavs' timeline
Bobby Marks: IT/Crowder/Zizic combination would save the Cavaliers $19M in taxes. Tax bill goes from $78.4M to $59.2M.
The Cavaliers and Celtics are in serious negotiations on a trade that would send four-time All-Star Kyrie Irving to rival Boston for All-Star Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and a No. 1 draft pick. A source with with knowledge of the negotiations confirmed them to cleveland.com.
A. Sherrod Blakely: The @Cavs told @Celtics a couple weeks ago they didn't want to do a deal if Jayson Tatum wasn't part of the package, says league source.
A. Sherrod Blakely: Another interesting side note to the Tatum factor in this potential deal. J. Tatum and Kyrie Irving are both represented by the same agent.
The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics are engaged in serious trade discussions centered on swapping All-Star guards Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, league sources told The Vertical. The teams are still working on the framework of a deal, and Jae Crowder has been included in the discussions, league sources said.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Cleveland and Boston have moved into serious talks on a trade centered on All-Star guard Kyrie Irving, league sources tell ESPN.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Sources: Boston, Cleveland nearing deal on Kyrie Irving, but details still working to completion. Isaiah Thomas, Crowder, pick(s) in talks.
Adrian Wojnarowski: Boston center Ante Zizic also expected to be part of a potential Cleveland deal for Kyrie Irving, league sources tell ESPN.
Bobby Marks: The magic # for the Celtics is $13.8M to get a deal done with Irving waiving his trade kicker. Thomas and Crowder are a combined $13.05M
Bobby Marks: The following Celtics are not eligible to be traded: 1. G. Hayward 2. Marcus Morris (9/7) 3. A. Baynes 4. S. Larkin 5. D. Theis
Shams Charania: Cleveland and Boston engaged in active trade discussions centered on Kyrie Irving and Isaiah Thomas, league sources tell The Vertical.
There are any number of deals that could transpire. A league source said perhaps the best Cleveland could do would be something with Boston, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and multiple first-round picks, and then use Thomas to trade for a different piece (wait a minute, didn't I just say I wouldn't do specific scenarios?). The Knicks don't want Kevin Love, so your proposal isn't happening.
But some people wonder whether the Celts will be able to keep all their desired pieces together as Thomas, Avery Bradley and others come up for renewal in this new marketplace. “Yeah, we can fit everybody in,” said Ainge. “But, listen, those are questions that I don’t even have answers for yet. That’s part of the difficult puzzle that is all hard. All I’m saying is those are things I have to worry about that even I don’t like to think about. And I know that those are going to be difficult decisions at some point. But we want to keep Isaiah. All I know is that he’s had an amazing year, and who doesn’t want Isaiah Thomas on their team? Like, you’ve got to be kidding me.”
That could be the first layer of this team to be scrubbed away. The second, and more consequential, would come over the course of the following year. That starts with All-Star Isaiah Thomas, whose name has lately been the subject of trade speculation. But league sources indicate that any talk of dealing Thomas is strictly speculation at this point — the Celtics have had no such discussions. Not yet, at least.
The Celtics’ president of basketball operations appeared Thursday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s “Toucher & Rich” and was asked to address a report from ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan that he considered trading his All-Star point guard to obtain another lottery pick ahead of the 2016 NBA Draft. Ainge not only shot down that rumor, but he also detailed why such a move would be foolhardy. “We had eight draft picks and were trying to consolidate our picks to move up or out of the draft,” Ainge said, via CBS Boston. “We were also making plans to go get (free agents) Kevin Durant and Al Horford, so why in the world would we go there without Isaiah Thomas and try to have our best player traded for a lottery pick? It just doesn’t make any sense at all.”
GM Danny Ainge wanted to acquire another lottery selection in addition to the team’s top-3 pick and he dangled everyone on the team in trade discussions, including Isaiah Thomas, ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan reports. “Before the draft last year, Danny was trying to get two picks, not just Jaylen Brown,” ESPN’s Jackie MacMullan told Bob Ryan on his podcast (h/t Comcast Sportsnet). “He was on the phone with everybody from coast to coast, and he was offering everybody. That includes Marcus Smart and Isaiah Thomas, and anything else they needed to get where he wanted to go. There were no untouchables on that team last year.”
The Celtics have one of the NBA’s better backcourts, a nice blend of offense (Isaiah Thomas), defense (Marcus Smart, Terry Rozier) and a burgeoning star capable of both (Avery Bradley). It’s also one of the league’s most affordable, with Bradley ($8.3 million) and Thomas ($6.6 million) making well below market value, and Smart and Rozier on rookie deals. That will change soon. Smart is eligible for an extension in 2017. A $10 million-plus offer will be the starting point of negotiations. Thomas and Bradley will be free agents in 2018, eligible for max salaries of $32.4 million per season. Neither will likely come near that, but understand: This is the ballpark Boston is playing in. The Celtics won’t pay all of them. They can’t pay all of them, not if they want to continue to pursue another impact player. If the Celtics make a significant trade, it will undoubtedly include one or more of their star guards.
August 18, 2022 | 2:54 am EDT Update
The Lakers remain active in trade talks and would part with their 2027 and 2029 first-round picks in the right deal, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski said in an appearance on Sports Center (video link). Those picks “have a lot of value in the marketplace” if they’re unprotected, Wojnarowski states. He adds that L.A. would be willing to give them up in a trade for Kyrie Irving, but the Nets haven’t been interested.
Those around the team were confident that James signing an extension was likely, considering how much he’s enjoyed playing for the Lakers and living in Los Angeles. The primary complication in James’ decision was that he has been privately adamant that the Lakers still need to improve the current roster and trade for superstar point guard Kyrie Irving, league sources have told The Athletic.
The Lakers have explored runs at Nets point guard Kyrie Irving ($36.9 million expiring contract), but it’s unclear if Brooklyn would want to include Joe Harris’ $19.9 million salary for 2023-24 as well. The Pacers have Buddy Hield, a former client of Lakers executive Rob Pelinka, at $18.6-23.3 million for next season (depending on incentives). Los Angeles has also explored a deal for Pacers center Myles Turner with the expectation that he would extend or re-sign beyond his current $17.5-20 million salary for 2022-23.
Per several sources connected to teams like the Brooklyn Nets, Indiana Pacers and San Antonio Spurs, the Lakers have not been willing to part with significant draft capital to get off Westbrook’s contract. But that may have been tied to uncertainty surrounding James’ future, which is now put to rest.
The sense from those sources: Westbrook will have a new home when the Lakers green-light trades that include both their 2027 and 2029 first-rounders. What’s still unclear is whether L.A. will be willing to do so.
Rob Pelinka has been “very active” in attempting to add more shooting and size to the Los Angeles Lakers roster, according to Adrian Wojnarowski on ESPN. “Rob Pelinka has still been very active, even in the dog days of August. He’s been on the phone a lot, he’s still trying to find deals to bring in more shooting, perhaps some size. And so I think those conversations continue all the way into training camp,” said Wojnarowski on NBA Today.
Among the executives with whom I spoke, a Boston deal with Jaylen Brown as the centerpiece appears to be the unofficial front-runner here. In general terms, sources say the Nets are using the fact that the Celtics (and perhaps other teams) have made their second-best player available as a baseline of sorts in negotiations. Translation: If you’re still trying to discuss a Durant deal without putting your second-best talent on the table, then just stop wasting everyone’s time and bow out of this race.