Even though it does not seem like that long ago, it was back on August 22nd, 2017 where Kyrie Irving was traded by the Cleveland Cavaliers to the Boston Celtics. The deal sent Irving to Boston, and Boston sent Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, 2017 1st round pick Ante Žižić, a 2018 first round pick via the Brooklyn Nets, and a 2020 2nd round pick.
Looking back at this trade years later, it was a bit of a lose-lose for both teams. Boston never really had any real playoff success with Irving on the team, never making the NBA Finals in his stint in Boston. As for Cleveland, Jae Crowder and Isaiah Thomas were off of the Cavs not long after, being dealt to Utah and Los Angeles respectively at the trade deadline.
The Cavaliers got two draft picks, as well as a rookie, but none of them are currently on the Cavs’ squad. The first-round pick via Brooklyn turned out to be Collin Sexton, who was signed and traded to the Utah Jazz, alongside other assets, for Donovan Mitchell. The 2020 2nd-round pick, which was the Miami Heat’s pick, turned out to be Skylar Mays; he is no longer on an NBA roster. The same goes for Ante Žižić, as he went overseas in 2020 and hasn’t been in the NBA since.
The Cavs squad made it to the NBA Finals but lost to the juggernaut Golden State Warriors team, who swept Cleveland. LeBron James tried his best, but the team didn’t have enough firepower to overcome the star-studded Warriors squad.
Was Kyrie’s time in Cleveland memorable enough?
Kyrie Irving’s tenure in Cleveland was interesting, to say the least, but his six seasons for the Cavaliers were really good. He was the 1st overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft and was the Rookie of the Year for the 2011-12 season. Even though Irving went out of Cleveland on bad terms, he still was one of the best players to ever play for the Cavaliers. There has been debate surrounding a question: when Irving retires, will his jersey be retired by the Cleveland Cavaliers?
In Kyrie Irving’s six seasons for the Cavaliers, he averaged 21.6 points, 5.5 assists, and 3.9 rebounds per game, as well as shooting 45.7 percent from the field and 38.3 percent from distance. He also made four All-Star teams and was on the All-NBA 3rd Team for the 2014-15 season. Furthermore, he won the All-Star game MVP back in the 2013-14 season, which was only his 2nd All-Star game at that time.
Statistically, Irving’s tenure for the Cleveland Cavaliers was amazing, and he has shown to be one of the Cavs’ best guards of all time. His tenure in Cleveland was a bit short, though, as he only played six seasons, and at this point in his career has been on a few teams, and has been known to be a bit disloyal to the teams he is on.
Irving requested a trade back in the 2017 offseason, and the relationship between Irving and the Cavaliers’ front office was not pretty. Apparently, the reason Irving asked out of Cleveland was because the front office tried to trade him earlier that offseason, and that report was heard by Irving. Because of this, Irving was upset that he was on the market, and asked out of Cleveland.
Kyrie Irving has not been the best NBA player when it comes to his off-court problems. Irving got suspended for the Brooklyn Nets back in November after saying antisemitic comments to the media. Furthermore, Irving refused to get a mandated vaccine for the COVID-19 disease, as well as flipping off Boston fans when he played against them one time in Brooklyn.
Back in the 2016 NBA Finals, Kyrie Irving hit one of the greatest shots in NBA history, hitting a side-step 3-pointer, which led to Cleveland winning their first NBA championship, and taking down the 73-9 Golden State Warriors team, as well as coming back from a 3-1 deficit in the NBA Finals. Irving averaged 27.1 points, 3.9 rebounds, and 3.9 assists per game in the 2016 NBA Finals, being the clear-cut second-best player on that roster behind LeBron James.
Statistically, Kyrie Irving was one of the best NBA players of all time and really was an impactful player for multiple seasons for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Will his jersey be retired? That question will be answered years down the line, but if I had to decide, I would retire his number. The only reason the Cavaliers would not retire his jersey number is because of his off-court antics, but he was really good in Cleveland and definitely deserves to have his #2 in the rafters in Rocket Mortgage FieldHouse.
He’s only 31 years old, and is now on a great Dallas Mavericks team. He should be a Hall of Famer someday, and he still has plenty of years left until he is out of the league.