Brad Stevens had nothing but good things to say about Isaiah Thomas when asked Wednesday about the former Boston Celtics point guard.
But that doesn’t mean the Celtics head coach isn’t excited for the Kyrie Irving era to begin.
The C’s recently acquired Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and a pair of draft picks. It has the potential to be a franchise-altering deal for both teams, and Stevens has high aspirations for his new point guard, who earned four All-Star selections with the Cavs before requesting a trade earlier this offseason.
“I don’t know that anybody would criticize him for it, the way that he makes plays,” Steven told Comcast SportsNet New England when asked about Irving’s reputation as someone who likes to dribble the basketball a lot. “I think Kyrie really knows how to play. I think Kyrie can pass off pick-and-rolls, he can score off pick-and-rolls. He draws a lot of attention, he draws a lot of blitzing, he draws a lot of attention at the rim. He’s a fabulous scorer, and I think he could really flourish in what we’re doing and what we need to do to bring out the best in him.
“But when you look at Kyrie as a player, there’s so many things that he can do and do well. At the end of the day, it’s about helping finding those simple spots and letting him go.”
Irving, the first overall pick in 2011, is a tremendous talent at just 25 years old. Players like him don’t become available on the trade market too often, and the Celtics clearly are confident in his ability to be an organizational cornerstone for many years to come.
Thumbnail photo via David Richard/USA TODAY Sports Images
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