Cavs GM Koby Altman traded Kyrie Irving for what would become Collin Sexton.
Four years ago Kyrie Irving was coming off of his third straight NBA Finals appearance, having gone 1-2 in the three prior attempts to win an NBA Championship. Things were good in Cleveland but not great. Irving’s personality issues were rubbing the team, namely LeBron James, the wrong way, and essentially a trade was bound to happen. Sure enough, it did, with Koby Altman moving him to the Boston Celtics. It was a move that ended up netting the Cavaliers Collin Sexton.
The trade wasn’t for Sexton straight up. It featured Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, the Brooklyn Nets first-round draft pick in 2018, and a future Miam Heat second-round pick. By the end of the year, only the draft pick and Zizic remained. The Cavs would keep the pick and would turn it into Sexton, while Boston would have Irving for a handful of injury-plagued years.
He told Boston he wanted to stay in Boston and that he loved it there. Then he left because a man’s word is meaningless to the flat-Earther.
Now Irving is in Brooklyn and the team he was so desperate to sign with just told him that he was not going to be playing in the 2021-2022 season until he’s eligible. The reason? New York has a vaccine mandate and Irving is refusing to get vaccinated. He was allowed to practice with the team and play on the road but Brooklyn decided that they’d rather have no Irving than a half-in Irving. Now he has to be vaccinated before he can play with the team.
Kyrie Irving’s trade from the Cavs remains a Koby Altman highlight
The situation in Brooklyn is a mess but it could’ve been worse. Kevin Durant and James Harden are still on the team and seem to be more than content with playing without Irving. After all, it was reported that both men were given the chance to voice opinions on the matter but either their opinion wasn’t taken into consideration or they were in favor of moving on from Irving.
Irving has his right to not take the vaccine, just like companies have the right to not do business with people who don’t share their alignment. The Nets will be fine, they’re loaded without Irving, but imagine if Irving was pulling this in Cleveland? He’d still be the franchise guy and fans would be beyond upset over his behavior. He’s hanging out the team to dry and for what?
Getting rid of him was the right move.
This may be the easiest example of a trade that Koby Altman not only won a trade but won with ease. The Cavs fleeced the Celtics in hindsight and all it cost was one injury-plagued player who seemingly has commitment issues to the game he’s paid quite well to play.
If he doesn’t want to play, that’s ok. He has no civic duty to suit up, so if he’s content with how things are, then more power to him. The sunset is to his west.
This is more about how Altman, for the first (and possibly only) time was able to fleece a mega power in the world of the NBA. Irving is untradable at this point because eventually (in theory) any team that he would go to would have to deal with the Knicks or Nets eventually.
Could you imagine Irving with, let’s say the Clippers, and the team going to the NBA Finals to take on Brooklyn but Irving having to miss three or four of the games because he’s not vaccinated? Talk about a destroyed legacy. Either that or Irving could just retire, negating a trade.
Altman may only have Sexton left from that trade but Sexton is one heck of a player. Even if Altman doesn’t produce a winner with the Cavs, at least he made a move to get rid of Irving, who has been nothing but a headache since leaving Cleveland – if not before.