Dan Gilbert Said Cavs 'Killed It' In The Kylie Irving Trade

NBA: Playoffs-Boston Celtics at Milwaukee Bucks
May 8, 2019; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Boston Celtics guard Kyrie Irving (11) drives for the basket against Milwaukee Bucks guard Malcolm Brogdon (13) during the second quarter in game five of the second round of the 2019 NBA Playoffs at Fiserv Forum. (Photo: Jeff Hanisch/USA TODAY Sports)

The Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017 were put in a position that left them with no choice but to trade Kyrie Irving. Irving requested a move, and if he hadn't been there were threats of knee surgery that would sidelines him much or all of the next season. He ended up not getting the surgery, but missed the 2018 NBA playoffs due to those knee issues.

The trade they took was with Boston: Ante Zizic, Jae Crowder, Isaiah Thomas, a 2018 1st round draft pick (which became Colling Sexton), and eventually a 2020 2nd round pick. It didn't seem bad at the time because we hadn't understood the complete severity of Thomas' hip surgery - but the Celtics did. When Cleveland doctors got a look at Thomas, they put the trade on hold until more compensation was added, which proved to be the 2nd round pick.

Recalling what happened back then, the Cavaliers weren't exactly their best. No disrespect meant to Sexton, but them not faring well was kind of expected. After all, nobody gets equal value back when trading a superstar.

But apparently, Dan Gilbert thinks otherwise. In an interview with the Cleveland Plain Dealer, he had some interesting thoughts. "I don't know, but I think Kyrie will leave Boston," Gilbert quipped. "We could have ended up with nothing. Looking back after all the moves Koby made, we killed it in that trade."

That's not how Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert sees it, speaking to the Cleveland Plain Dealer.

The Cavs are only two summers removed from one of the worst moments in their franchise's history: the day Irving's trade request from a championship contender was announced in public, causing a commotion among fans, basketball pundits, news outlets, and rival executive.

If you remember, Irving wanted to be traded because of his desire to forge his own legacy and no longer wanted to be under LeBron James' shadow in Cleveland. The Cavaliers agreed, even though they didn't have to, given the contract situation they have with Irving. So off to Boston he went as part of a huge trade package that brought Cleveland some new pieces to put around James.

Of course, Boston has the more talented team. But if Irving decides to leave the Celtics this offseason, the gap between the two franchises can close quickly.

Irving remains mum on the subject and we won't probably hear anything until the start of the free agency period. Irving is believed to be looking to join forces with Golden State Warriors forward Kevin Durant, a fellow free agent, and has plans in signing with the Knicks.

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