The Cavs traded Kyrie Irving after the 2017 season for a package that eventually became Collin Sexton, a move that Cleveland won.
This isn’t meant to be a critique or accusatory column about Kyrie Irving. Either he’s fed up with the NBA lifestyle or he’s in need of someone to talk to about his emotional state of mind. None of that is a joke, nor should it be made into one. What this is, however, is a retort to the people who constantly said “The Cavs traded Kyrie and what did they get back?”
Well, we got back Collin Sexton, thank you very much, and considering the issues surrounding Irving, and his near wanderlust-like mindset at the moment, it’s pretty clear the Cavs won that trade and maybe even fleeced the Celtics.
Originally the trade was Kyrie Irving to Boston for a 2018 first-round pick (that would become Sexton), Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a 2020 second-round pick (that become George Hill and Rodney Hill).
After just two years in Boston, and a promise to stay longer, Irving left to join up with Kevin Durant in Brooklyn for the 2019-2020 season. Since arriving in Brooklyn he’s played just 27 games. Beyond just Brooklyn, while he hasn’t been that durable during his time with Cleveland, since leaving he’s only played in 62% of games possible. Moreover, when healthy, he hasn’t really shown to be a key factor in winning games since leaving Cleveland, either.
He’s also become someone who has developed an over entitled sense of self-worth. When Brooklyn hired Steve Nash, a Hall of Fame player and a two-time NBA MVP, Irving actually had the audacity to say that Brooklyn didn’t have a “head coach”. An idea Nash was quick to put down.
Irving has spent several weeks now in limbo with his NBA career. The NBA has officially begun fining him for his conduct, which includes him violating COVID-19 policies, and there’s even a rumor that when Brooklyn was negotiating a trade for James Harden, that Irving was even included in one of the first packages. Houston apparently didn’t want anything to do with Irving.
Even after leaving the Cavs, former teammates like Kevin Love even denounced Irving’s behavior. Really hammering home how much of a headache he’s become.
Sexton, on the other hand, is only averaging 25 points in just his third year, shooting 53% from the floor, 52% from three-point, and 83% from the free-throw line. Sexton is only 22-years-old and as a scorer, is much farther along at 22 than Irving was. But sure, the Cavs didn’t “win” the Celtics trade.
With all the drama, injuries, and inconsistent play from Irving over the years, it’s officially time to admit the Cavs won the trade with the Celtics and walked away with, while maybe not the more “talented” player, but at the very least the more reliable player.