NBA: Boston Celtics sign Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving in exchange for Isaiah Thomas among other players

Los Angeles: The Boston Celtics signed Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers on Tuesday in a blockbuster trade that saw Isaiah Thomas head in the opposite direction, the Celtics confirmed.

The Celtics said in a statement they had acquired Irving in exchange for Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, centre Ante Zizic and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first round pick.

FILE - In this Nov. 3, 2016, file photo, Cleveland Cavaliers' Kyrie Irving, right, looks to drive against Boston Celtics' Isaiah Thomas during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Cleveland. Irving, who asked Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert to trade him earlier this summer, could be on his way to Boston as the Cavaliers are in serious negotiations with the Celtics about swapping him for point guard Thomas. Since Irving made his stunning request, the defending Eastern Conference champions have been looking for a trade partner. They may have found the perfect one and could be nearing a deal with the Celtics, said the person who spoke Tuesday night, Aug. 22, 2017, to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the talks. (AP Photo/Ron Schwane, File)

File photo of Kyrie Irving. AP

"Kyrie is one of the best scorers in the NBA. He has proven that on the biggest stage, the NBA Finals, the last three years," Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge said in a statement.

"He's been an NBA Champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist, and a four-time All-Star. For all he's accomplished, we think his best years are ahead of him."

Celtics co-owner Wyc Grousbeck meanwhile paid tribute to the contribution of the departing Thomas and Crowder, key performers for Boston last season as they finished first in the Eastern Conference.

"Isaiah and Jae have been a huge part of our success," he said. "Isaiah's playoff performance under very difficult circumstances will live on in history, and we wish them all the best."

Irving's request for a move away from Cleveland and LeBron James stunned the NBA when it was confirmed in July.

The Cavaliers have made it to the NBA Finals in each of the last three seasons, beating Golden State once and losing on two other occasions.

The Celtics meanwhile topped the Eastern Conference last season but were beaten by Cleveland in five games in the playoffs.

Playmaker Thomas missed the last three games of the series after suffering a hip injury and is reportedly struggling to be fit for the start of the new season in October.

Irving, 25, who averaged 25.2 points on 47.3 percent shooting and 5.8 assists last season, has three years and $60 million remaining on his contract.

Thomas, third in the NBA last season with an average of 28.9 points, will be a free agent after the 2017-18 campaign.


Published Date: Aug 23, 2017 11:22 am | Updated Date: Aug 23, 2017 11:22 am