Former Cavs GM Praises ‘Tremendous’ Kyrie Irving Trade

David Griffin thinks the Cleveland Cavaliers’ front-office did a “tremendous” job in their trade of Kyrie Irving for fellow All-Star point guard Isaiah Thomas.

The Cavs’ former general manager says he would have made the same deal once Kyrie demanded to be moved.

The Boston Celtics, in addition to Thomas, gave up Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, a 2018 first-round pick and a 2020 second-round pick.


“I think I would have,” Griffin told NBA TV late Tuesday night. “I really think Koby Altman made a tremendous trade here, given the circumstances. When you’re trying to win a championship, there is no in between. You’re all the way with me, or you’re all the way against me. And I think this was a situation where Kyrie made it clear he had a goal set that might not have jived with what Cleveland’s was.


“They made a deal that, even in the absence of Isaiah Thomas, is a tremendous collection of assets and value Koby was able to get. At the same time, Boston made a trade to get a piece that really could be the key for them — a 25-year old player in his prime who is an NBA champion, an Olympic champion and is really just starting to scratch the surface of who he can be.”


Thomas, who originally injured his hip in March and the re-aggravated the injury during the Eastern Conference Finals, was examined by Cavaliers doctors on Friday and has stayed in contact with them since. He informed ESPN Tuesday night that he has made significant progress and is confident he will be the same player — even if there is chatter about him missing the start of the regular season.


“I don’t think (Thomas’ injury) was a surprise necessarily,” Griffin said. “I think when you go through these deals, you share all the information you have and you share all the images you have. If the most recent images from Isaiah were as far back as the playoffs, then when you get a new set of images now that’s going to create the ability to compare and contrast, and see how things have improved.


“So I don’t think it’s a situation where anybody was caught off guard. I think it was just a case of getting perhaps more information. Obviously, Isaiah is in this league because he has heart and soul and a resolve that is almost unparalleled, and I believe him when he says he’s gonna be back to 100 percent and I don’t think anything that has been revealed to this point should make anyone think he won’t.”

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