BOSTON (CBS) — A full day after the Celtics and Cavaliers pulled off their stunning blockbuster trade of Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving, there was still a lot to go through. So Michael Hurley welcomed Brian Robb from Boston Sports Journal to help sort it all out.
While the initial shock of seeing two All-Stars traded in late August had worn off, Robb remained surprised by two aspects of the trade. First, he still couldn’t quite believe that Danny Ainge included the 2018 first-round pick from Brooklyn.
“That’s where personally, I would’ve drawn the line in the sand at the Nets pick,” Robb said. “I would’ve given another pick, like the Memphis 2019 pick, which could be really good but obviously is far in the future. It’s an expendable part. The Brooklyn unprotected pick, that’s high capital. That’s one of the most sought-after picks in the whole league right now in terms of just value.”
While both Hurley and Robb recognize the business aspect of the sport, they were still a bit stunned to see the Celtics trade Isaiah after all he had done for the franchise and all he had been through personally while with the team.
“There was always a trade in play, but once his sister died, and he’s flying across the country and doing all that during the playoffs and being a Celtic and all of that, I felt like, all right, well, the trades are off,” Hurley said. “I know that it’s a coldhearted business and it’s all about the bottom line, but at that point, I was like, you can’t just kick the guy out to the curb after this.”
“And then you factor in that he recruited for them,” Robb added. “He was at the Gordon Hayward meeting less than two months ago to be like, ‘Hey, come here and we’re going to build this together.’ I thought on top of the fact that it was a lot to give up in the trade, just having the guts to pull the trigger on this from that standpoint to do this to a guy like Isaiah — who’s been all in for you and exceeded your wildest expectations. Do you worry at all that that sends a little bit of a bad message around the league? This guy did everything for us, played through some of the worst grief anyone’s ever gone through, and then we just flip him two months later?”
However, Robb did note: “The flip side for Isaiah is it’s not like they sent him to Brooklyn. He’s still going to make his money, he’ll be on a huge stage.”
Robb also talked about his own personal change from being a freelance sports writer to working full-time at the new site Boston Sports Journal, as well as what the real impact of the trade will be in the Eastern Conference. Listen above, subscribe on iTunes, or check out the audio page at CBS Boston.