It’s been a whirlwind of a summer, but there’s a late submission for the craziest move of the offseason: Kyrie Irving’s trade demand.The Cavaliers star has reportedly asked team brass to move him, stunning everyone from his teammates to outside observers. The relationship between Irving and the Cavs has grown so toxic that the team reportedly can’t even get him on the phone. With one of the NBA’s biggest stars on the trading block, there’s been no shortage of suitors. What team can’t use a superstar point guard in his prime? With that in mind, The Crossover asked its writers: Which team should trade for Kyrie? While most teams have already made their “big move” this summer, there’s plenty of teams with assets and point-guard needs to make a deal. Let’s take a look at five of the most plausible scenarios. The Earth, no matter cheap jerseys what shape it might be, will collapse in on itself if this completely insane but also completely perfect trade happens. The Celtics do this because Irving is younger than Thomas, because he’s more famous than Thomas, because he’s bigger than Thomas, because his offensive ceiling as The Man in a Brad Stevens system is higher than Thomas, and because he’s under contract for a year longer than Thomas. Danny Ainge would have an answer to skeptics suggesting he is too conservative in trade talks, he would sell high on Thomas and pass any potential injury issues to Cleveland, he would buy himself another year before needing to shell out true max money to his point guard, and he would theoretically ease the transition to his next generation core by preparing to build around Irving, Gordon Hayward, Jayson Tatum, Jaylen Brown and company. The Cavaliers do this because they need to maximize their short-term return to chase the 2018 title and appease LeBron James, Thomas is the only All-NBA level point guard who is marginally available, Crowder is a playoff-tested wing defender who could give quality minutes in a Finals match-up against Golden State, and the first-round pick is a chip to soften the blow if James and/or Thomas leave next summer. First-time GM Koby Altman could salvage Cleveland’s rocky summer by selling this deal as his organization’s best shot to keep up with Golden State, by giving James the creative and dependable secondary playmaker who he desperately needs if Irving exits, and by adding a hard-nosed veteran stopper to an aging bench that provided little during the 2017 Finals. The real winners, however, would be the thousands of Twitter uses who spent last season debating whether Irving or Thomas was better as this trade would immediately pay off with a series of must-see head-to-head match-ups and a possible Eastern Conference finals showdown. Thomas is entering a contract year with a shot at his first big payday. Irving is clearly thirsting for his own stage. Let’s make this happen and marvel at the insanity that will inevitably unfold. Or, Ainge can sit tight and play killjoy yet again. — Ben Golliver
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Q: I really, really fear trading Justise Winslow. I don’t think Kyrie Irving is that much better than Goran Dragic and the upgrade wouldn’t be worth the cost of losing Winslow. That’s not to say Kyrie is overrated because he is certainly a superstar and among the five best scorers in the NBA. I believe that Dragic is better than he gets credit for and I’m also really high on Winslow. I believe he has All-Star potential. He’s 21 with only one real season of play. Shooting is something that can be fixed with proper form and repetition. I believe in Winslow’s work ethic and our coaching staff enough to know that the shot will come. Real quick: Look at Draymond Green, as he is the heart of soul of one of the best teams ever, but he shot 30 percent from 3 this past season. The Cavs almost sagged into the paint when guarding him in the Finals, but he stayed on the floor because his defense, rebounding, playmaking and intangibles which are all things Justise can bring right now. Trading Winslow would be a mistake. — Kevin.A: And Draymond shot only 28 percent on 3-pointers in the NBA Finals and 35 percent from the floor during that series. So, yes, it can be about more than shooting. In fact, I like what Justise said last week about becoming a better finisher. I believe that it an offensive element that can compensate for an errant jumper. Is baseball, the ultimate prospects are five-tool players. Justise at the moment is a four-tool player, with his individual defense, team defense, playmaking and rebounding. That can take you far in the NBA, in the proper system. Just as Justise is still adjusting to the NBA game, so, too, must the staff come up with a game that accentuates his positives, as the Warriors have done with Draymond. Q: Somebody from the Mavericks saw something in Gian Clavell. If the Heat had signed him and could somehow develop an extra gear in his first step, he would be better than Tyler Johnson. Time will tell. One slipped away. — William. A: It might have looked like a case of one that got away, but the Heat clearly had plan when it came their development program, moving instead to Matt Williams Jr. and Derrick Walton Jr. These are intriguing times in the NBA, with the advent of the two-way contract and the $50,000 seeding of contracts wholesale nba jerseys for players to be directly assigned to developmental-league affiliates. You now are moving to a player at a rawer stage of their development, which means a far more disparate view of what eventually can emerge. It will be fascinating to see how such seed money will pay off across the league. Q: Don’t you find it ironic that the last two NBA collective bargaining agreements were put in place to create more parity in the league, yet in realty it has done the exact opposite? I don’t think a weapons race is parity. — Stuart. A: Which why the Cavaliers has practically become a petri dish for the future of super teams, and whether such chemistry can endure. For all the Warriors accomplished with Kevin Durant jumping aboard, it has only been one year with that mix. It will be interesting to see what will happen with Klay Thompson when he hits free agency in the 2019 offseason. Or, for that matter, how the James Harden-Chris Paul chemistry plays out in Houston, or what the injection of Gordon Hayward into Boston’s rotation does for the Celtics. In many ways, we’re still in the experimental phase with super teams, with even the Heat’s Big Three limited to two titles.
Jae Crowder has once again gotten into it with Twitter haters—this time about his minutes next season. The Celtics forward never hesitates to clap back at people disrespecting him.Crowder’s relationship with some (not all) Celtics fans is one of the few blemishes on what has been, for the most part, a love affair between him and the city of Boston. He’s brought a blue collar attitude to the franchise that doesn’t go unnoticed, but he’s ruffled some feathers along the way. Last season, Crowder heard fans cheering for Gordon Hayward at TD Garden when the Utah Jazz were going through their introductions. It’s difficult to know how true this is, but this illustrates the tension between Boston and the Marquette product; the slightest slight can irk JC and subsequently, start an unnecessary social media flame war. Fast forward seven months. When the Celtics signed Hayward this summer, Danny Ainge needed to trade Crowder, Avery Bradley, or Marcus Smart in order to offer Hayward a full max contract. Bradley, the longest tenured Celtic and a fan favorite, was eventually dealt to Detroit for Marcus Morris, but a lot of people were eager to see Crowder go. Despite Ainge coming out and reinforcing that “Jae is a big part of what we’re doing,” a loud minority felt that the oft disgruntled Crowder was redundant after signing Hayward and drafting Jayson Tatum. In Crowder’s defense, he’s been an important player during the rebuild. He’s a versatile defender, has a pretty shooting stroke, and made 40% of his threes last season. Crowder is a prototypical 3-and-D wing that allows the Celtics to play small ball lineups with Crowder at the 4. On top of all of that, Crowder is one of the NBA’s biggest bargains. He’ll make $7 million on average until the summer of 2020, where players with Crowder’s skill set at the age of 27 would probably make around $12-18 million on the open market. For a team that is headed toward luxury tax territory, Crowder’s an invaluable role player and yet, some have questioned #99. Here are some possible reasons:
Master of None Crowder is solid, but he’s not necessarily elite in any specific area. He isn’t the playmaker and scorer that Isaiah Thomas is, he’s not the perimeter defensive specialist that Bradley is, and he isn’t a freak athlete with high upside like Jaylen Brown. Crowder isn’t necessarily a marketable player or a SportsCenter commodity, but he’s been a consistent contributor on a winning team. For lack of a better description, he’s a Brad Stevens’ type of player. It takes more context to truly understand Crowder’s impact with the Celtics. For example, NBAMath.com examines the value a player adds on both ends of the floor specific to play type. Comparing the 2015-16 season to 2016-17, Crowder dramatically increased the value he added on offense in spot ups and off cuts, two crucial elements to Brad Stevens’ pace-and-space motion offense. On defense, he improved in almost every area too, including guarding isolation, pick and roll ball handlers and roll cheap jerseys nba men, and in post up situations. He isn’t elite in any particular area, but over the course of an entire game of around a hundred possessions, he’ll make more good plays than mistakes. As fans, it’s easy to get infatuated with that late game possession where Bradley locks up Kyrie Irving one-on-one or Jaylen throws down a tomahawk in a blowout. Crowder doesn’t give you a lot of those moments, but his body of work can’t be measured in a highlight or 140 characters.
Shot Selection Last season, Crowder had a career year shooting the ball. A near 40% three-point clip is exactly what the Celtics need from him as he spaces the floor for players like Thomas, Horford, and now Hayward, but—and this is arguably nitpicking—there is still something left to be desired. Despite career high shooting percentages, Crowder’s scoring totals have stagnated over the last two years (14.2 ppg in ‘15-’16 to 13.9 ppg in ‘16-’17). Despite being built like a linebacker, Crowder tends to float around the perimeter. Some of that is by design to create space for his teammates, but Crowder still only averaged 1.3 drives per game last season, which is 8th most on the Celtics. The only players that drove to the basket less than Crowder with consistent playing time were Gerald Green, Jonas Jerebko, and Amir Johnson. Crowder is a 6’6, 235 pound forward. He’s a physical beast that refuses to go inside. It would be like Gronk if Gronk never went over the middle and punished would-be tacklers. Driving more could really help open up Crowder’s game and the Celtics offense, but Stevens seems to have a specific game plan for using him on the offensive end. Since the Celtics’ offensive rating when Crowder was on the court was a 115.5 as opposed to a 106.2 when off, I wouldn’t worry too much about it.
The 2017 NBA offseason has been one of the most hectic in recent memory, what with Paul George dealt to the Thunder, Chris Paul sent to the Rockets, Gordon Hayward signing with the Celtics and more rumors than you can even count. And with the Carmelo Anthony and Kyrie Irving situations still up in the air, there could even be more fireworks to come.Still, it’s not too early to start thinking about next summer, which could eclipse this one with all the premiere free agents — most notably, LeBron James — hitting the market. One of those big names that will be up for a new contract is Isaiah Thomas, and the Celtics’ All-Star point guard certainly already has next summer on his mind. He’s said before that whoever wholesale nba jerseys wants to sign him will have to “back up the Brink’s truck” in order to do so, and Monday, he brought that quote to life with a pair of custom made sandals that featured a Brink’s truck on one foot and a pile of money on the other.
When Gordon Hayward agreed to leave the Utah Jazz to sign with the Boston Celtics earlier this summer, many wondered whether the Jazz’s handling of Hayward’s 2014 restricted free agency had any bearing on the decision.Rather than immediately offering Hayward a max contract three years ago, the Jazz told him to go out and get an offer from another team — which he did, from the Charlotte Hornets. The Jazz matched the four-year, $63 million cheap nba jerseys authentic offer sheet and Hayward returned to the Jazz, later becoming an All-Star and one of the best forwards in the NBA. On “The Woj Pod” with ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, Hayward admitted that the 2014 situation stayed with him, and that he was upset the Jazz didn’t show more confidence in him. “It lingered for maybe a little bit of time at the beginning of when I signed it,” Hayward said. “None of those feelings were there this time around. Restricted free agency, it’s a little weird. As a player, you’re sitting there thinking like, ‘What the hell?’ You look at all these other players where teams are like, ‘He’s our guy.’ Like, ‘We’re going to give him the max.’ Blah, blah, blah. And I’ve got to go out and get one? Like, ‘Do you not believe in me?’ Like, ‘Do you not feel like I’m the guy for you?’ From a team’s perspective, it’s the smartest thing to do. Like, ‘Why would we overpay you until somebody else makes us, essentially?’ You know what I mean? So, I can for sure see it from both sides. But restricted free agency is weird. There’s no way of telling how much the incident affected Hayward’s decision to leave the Jazz, but it’s clearly something Hayward still remembers vividly.