LOS ANGELES: Kyrie Irving’s blockbuster move to the Boston Celtics from the Cleveland Cavaliers has been completed following a delay caused by concerns over an injury to Isai ah Thomas, the teams confirmed.
A joint statement late Wednesday said the trade agreed earlier this month would go ahead, with Boston handing Cleveland an additional 2020 second round draft pick to smooth the deal.
Four-time All-Star guard Irving stunned the NBA earlier this year by signalling his desire to seek a move, which the Celtics duly acted on in a trade which sees Thomas, Jae Crowder and Ante Zizic head in the opposite direction. Cleveland also receive a 2018 first-round draft pick in the deal.
However the final confirmation was held up amid concerns over a hip injury that Thomas is currently recovering from.
The Cavs had initially sought an additional first-round pick or another young player as insurance against Thomas’s injury, a negotiating gambit rejected by Boston.
Instead Boston has sent a 2020 pick to Cleveland.
“In conjunction with finalizing the trade involving Kyrie Irving, Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and a 2018 1st round pick the Celtics acquired via Brooklyn, the Celtics and Cavaliers have agreed to modify the terms of the trade such that Boston will also send Miami’s 2020 2nd round pick to Cleveland,” the joint Celtics-Cavs statement said. “The trade is now complete.”
Thomas meanwhile had insisted earlier this week that his injury would not prevent him from rediscovering his best form and fitness.
“There’s never been an indication that I wouldn’t be back, and there’s never been an indication that this is something messing up my career,” Thomas told ESPN on Tuesday.
“Maybe I am not going to be back as soon this season as everyone wants me to be, but I’m going to be back, and I’m going to be the same player again. No doctor has told me anything different than that.”