The Boston Celtics and Cleveland Cavaliers appear to be involved in a crazy game of poker.
The two teams pulled off arguably the biggest blockbuster of the NBA offseason when Cleveland traded All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in exchange for a package highlighted by Isaiah Thomas and the highly coveted 2018 Brooklyn Nets first-round pick — or so we thought.
The clubs announced the deal, the players are all listed on their new teams’ websites and you can even buy jerseys for them in their new colors.
But as everyone knows by now, the deal is being held up after the Cavs reportedly saw some things in Thomas’ physical that didn’t sit well with them, most noticeably the point guard’s injured hip. And while it seems likely the deal still will get done — perhaps by Wednesday — you wouldn’t blame the Celtics for being a little ticked off by how this all has gone down, especially if they were up front with everything.
Which is exactly the case, according to The Vertical’s Chris Mannix and the Boston Herald’s Steve Bulpett. Mannix had Bulpett as a guest on his most recent podcast, and Mannix said he got the feeling, from the people he’s spoken with, that the Celtics aren’t pleased with the developments.
Here’s the most noteworthy exchange from the podcast:
MANNIX: “My understanding is, or at least this is how Boston feels, is that they’ve been very transparent throughout this process. That they’ve given Cleveland everything they know about Isaiah’s injury. They feel the sweetener in this, that potential top-five pick was part of all this, part of the understanding Isaiah might miss some time at the start of the season. My read of it from the Celtics’ side of it, I don’t know what the word is — frustration, perplexion, aggravation, I guess go through the list of adjectives — my understanding is Boston is a little angered by this.”
BULPETT: “What I hear from (Cleveland) is nothing different from what was conveyed to the Cavaliers in the trade discussions and certainly in the medical information passed forward. I don’t know for a fact that the Celtics are frustrated, I haven’t spoken with anyone that’s given me that impression, but that makes perfect sense because nothing here should have surprised the Cavaliers.”
Assuming all that checks out — and both reporters are very good at what they do — you could see why there might be some annoyance on Boston’s part and why the C’s likely are going to be reluctant to part with any assets, no matter how small.
Click here to listen to the entire podcast >>
Thumbnail photo via Greg M. Cooper/USA TODAY Sports Images