‘Road Trippin’ Will Continue, With Or Without Richard Jefferson

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‘Road Trippin’ Will Continue, With Or Without Richard Jefferson

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The Richard Jefferson era in Cleveland has come and gone after the Cavaliers traded Jefferson to the Atlanta Hawks on Friday. Ultimately, the Cavaliers needed a roster spot for Dwyane Wade, and unfortunately, Jefferson was the odd man out.

The on-court impact of Jefferson leaving the Cavaliers deserves its own discussion at some point, but at 37-years old, it’s conceivable that the off-court impact Jefferson had on the team was a lot more important. Jefferson’s excellent presence in the Cavs locker room culminated in the creation of the Road Trippin’ podcast featuring Jefferson, teammate Channing Frye, and Fox Sports Ohio reporter Allie Clifton.

Through 50 episodes of Road Trippin’, Jefferson, Frye, and Clifton brought Cavaliers fans closer to an NBA locker room than anything we’ve ever seen before, with everything from in-depth basketball conversations to impromptu guest appearances by random Cavaliers employees. It was equal parts unique and terrific.




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Dwyane Wade Has Isaiah Thomas’ Back When It Comes To Danny Ainge

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Isaiah Thomas knows what it’s like to be traded, having been through it with Sacramento and Phoenix, but when he was dealt this summer to the Cavaliers by the Celtics in the Kyrie Irving trade, he felt very different than in the past. In a recent profile with Sports Illustrated, Thomas insisted it’s all love between he and Boston, with one major exception.

That would be general manager Danny Ainge, the man responsible for unceremoniously shipping Thomas off this summer to land another star in Irving. Whether Ainge made the Celtics better with the trade or not, sending Thomas out of town after everything the point guard had been through on and off the court over the past year irked many in the NBA, including Thomas.

Thomas said he might not ever speak to Danny Ainge again because of how hurt he was. On Wednesday, after the story ran, Ainge responded by saying he understood Thomas being upset but didn’t think Isaiah understood how much he loved him. The concept of loyalty is a silly one in modern sports, but so often the burden of being loyal falls on the players rather than the teams, which can often hide behind the “business” of sport to explain moves to fans.

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Kyrie Irving Is Happy To Be In A ‘Real’ Sports City, Not Cleveland

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Kyrie Irving is very happy to be in Boston. After requesting a trade from the Cavaliers earlier this summer, the All-Star point guard landed in about as good a position as he could have hoped when he asked Cleveland to deal him.

The Celtics are a playoff team with two auxiliary stars around him in Gordon Hayward and Al Horford, which means he doesn’t have to start over when it comes to competing. Boston earned the East’s top seed a year ago, and with their new trio on board, the Celtics have their eyes on the Finals and toppling LeBron James and the Cavs for the first time in nearly a decade.

Beyond the on court reasoning for Kyrie being happy, he also seems to genuinely enjoy being in the city of Boston rather than Cleveland. With the Celtics set to open their season back in Cleveland, one would think Irving would probably avoid saying anything inflammatory about the city where he started career, but in his excitement about being in Boston, he just can’t help but compare the two.

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Kyrie Irving Is Excited To Join The Celtics’ Team-First Atmosphere

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Kyrie Irving is officially a member of the Boston Celtics, and on Friday morning, the team introduced its new starting point guard to the media in Beantown alongside its other major addition this offseason, Gordon Hayward. Irving has been quiet about his decision to request a trade from the Cleveland Cavaliers, but at one point during his presser, he gave a glimpse into why he may have wanted to leave the team.

Now, this doesn’t necessarily mean Cleveland was a terrible place — this seems like it’s Irving praising the environment with Boston more than it’s taking a shot at the Cavaliers’ organization. He made it a point to stress this during a follow up question on the subject, saying that while he believes Boston is a better situation in terms of reaching his potential as an athlete, he viewed Cleveland as an important place where he built his foundation as a player.

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LeBron Kept Gordon Hayward And Kyrie Irving From Teaming Up Sooner

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Friday’s press conference in Boston has been mostly centered around the fact that Kyrie Irving is now a member of the Celtics. But Irving isn’t the only new member of the team to meet the media, as the Celtics used the event to introduce their other massive offseason addition, Gordon Hayward.

It’s a fun event to watch if you’re a Boston fan, but if history played out a little differently, this wouldn’t have been the first time that Hayward and Irving would have played together in the NBA. Hayward told a story about how the pair wanted to team up in Cleveland when he was a restricted free agent in 2014, but thanks to LeBron James‘ decision to come back to the Cavaliers in free agency that same offseason, that didn’t happen.

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Former Cavs GM David Griffin Calls The Kyrie Irving Trade ‘Tremendous’

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He may not be working for the Cleveland Cavaliers anymore, but David Griffin is still a big fan of the direction the team’s headed. That starts, first and foremost, with the team’s decision to trade Kyrie Irving to the Celtics.

The circumstances of David Griffin’s departure from Cleveland are still a bit of an unknown, but he’s a big fan of the work the Cavaliers front office has done since he left town. Griffin and the Cavs parted ways shortly before the NBA Draft in June, and the team went on without an official general manager for some time before settling on someone already in the front office: assistant GM Koby Altman.

Griffin had already advised the Cavaliers to trade Kyrie Irving “quickly” once his request for a trade became public knowledge, but now that the trade is finally (finally!) complete he had positive things to say about the deal during a television interview.

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A Cavs Official Thinks LeBron Might Have Held Kyrie Irving Back

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After more than a month of waiting for something to go down, the Kyrie Irving trade has finally happened. While there were a few roadblocks that popped up along the way, Irving is now a member of a Boston Celtics, while the Cleveland Cavaliers got pieces back that could potentially help them now (Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas if he’s healthy) and in the future (Ante Zizic, Brooklyn’s first round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft).

Much has been made about everything that led up to this deal occurring, but now that it’s official, basketball fans can look to the immediate and distant futures for all sides involved. This is especially true for Irving, who will get the chance to consistently be the No. 1 option with the Celtics, something that was never going to be the case in Cleveland as long as he shared the floor with LeBron James.

In fact, one executive in the Cavaliers’ organization told Howard Beck of Bleacher Report that they think LeBron might have kept Irving from reaching his potential, and now that he’s in Boston, we’re going to see just how good Irving can be.

“He’s evolved more the last three years than anyone else on our team,” says one Cavs official, who declared himself “really bullish” on Irving’s future in Boston. “He’s just scratching the surface of who he can be, and he’s not going to find out playing with [James].”

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How Good Will The Celtics Be With Kyrie Irving And Gordon Hayward?

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With under 12 hours to spare before the deadline to get a deal done, the Celtics and Cavaliers came to a final agreement on the original trade structure that sent Kyrie Irving to Boston and Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and Brooklyn’s 2018 unprotected first round pick to Cleveland. In the end, after eight days of posturing and back-and-forth regarding Thomas’ hip injury and whether the Cavs should get more, the two sides agreed that Cleveland should get an additional second rounder (2020 Miami) to complete the trade.

Now that the deal is actually done, we can turn full attention to how the new pieces will fit with their new teams. In Cleveland, Crowder’s addition figures to be a boost for the bench unit, but the big question is Thomas’ health and when he can get on the court. Coming off of a career-year, even if completely healthy, it would have been understandable to expect some regression from 2016-17 to 2017-18 for Thomas. With the hip injury, there’s even more concern that a step back could be coming after a monstrous offensive season. That’s not to say he won’t be good, but he just probably won’t be a legitimate MVP candidate again, as he was last season.

With so much dependent on his health, it’s hard to truly project what the Cavs’ will be. They have LeBron James and Kevin Love still, so, somewhere near the top of the East remains their domain, but Thomas’ health will dictate whether they remain the biggest threat to the Warriors.

As for the Celtics, they come into the 2017-18 season with a dramatically different looking core than the one that saw them win 53 games a year ago and earn the top seed in the Eastern Conference. Five of their top eight scorers from a year ago — including three of the top four — are now gone as Thomas, Crowder, Avery Bradley, Amir Johnson, and Kelly Olynyk all left Boston this summer in either trades or free agency. Normally, that kind of loss would be reason for significant concern, but the Celtics managed to bring in two legitimate stars in Irving and Gordon Hayward to make for a very interesting trio alongside center Al Horford.

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The Cavaliers Could Still Be Asking For More In The Kyrie Irving Trade

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Eight days after the Cavaliers and Celtics agreed to a deal to send Kyrie Irving to Boston in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and Brooklyn’s unprotected 2018 first round pick, nothing has been finalized. However, it appears as though the end to the posturing and back-and-forth in the media regarding Thomas’ hip and potential changes to the deal will come to a merciful end.

The Cavaliers had reportedly been concerned about Thomas’ hip following a physical and were considering asking the Celtics for additional pieces for Irving to offset Thomas’ poor health. The Celtics weren’t willing to part with much more, if anything, and they were insistent that they’d told the Cavs everything ahead of time and shouldn’t need to part with anything else.

There were then reports that this was the Cavs’ plan all along, and they hadn’t even found anything new in Thomas’ physical. Thomas made his first public statement about his health on Tuesday, expressing his anger and frustration with the reports and claiming he’d be fine going forward. After all of that, it seems as though Cleveland has given up on the dream of getting more in the trade package, per an Adrian Wojnarowski report cited on SportsCenter.

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The Cavaliers And Celtics Reached A Final Agreement On The Kyrie Trade

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The Cavaliers and Celtics have finally reached a final agreement on the trade to send Kyrie Irving to Boston. After a week of posturing regarding Isaiah Thomas’ physical, the Cavs got the Celtics to part ways with one more future asset, albeit a minor one, in addition to the original package of Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and Brooklyn’s 2018 unprotected first round pick.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and Dave McMenamin, late Wednesday night as the deadline to complete the deal was approaching, Cleveland was continuing to engage Boston in talks and wanted another first round pick to be added to the deal, but the Celtics wouldn’t budge.

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