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Cavs player reportedly referred to Danny Ainge as 'f---- thief' for Kyrie Irving trade

Alex Reimer
May 17, 2018 - 10:50 am

The Cavaliers still miss Kyrie Irving, and one player has reportedly taken out his frustration on Celtics general manager Danny Ainge.

According to the Athletic’s Jason Lloyd, an unnamed player on the Cavs referred to Ainge as a “f— king thief” at one point this winter, presumably when Irving was tearing it up with the Celtics and Isaiah Thomas was causing discord in Cleveland

Irving was phenomenal in 60 games with the Celtics, averaging 24.4 points per game to go along with 5.1 assists. Thomas, meanwhile, only played 15 games for the Cavaliers before they shipped him to the Lakers for guard Jordan Clarkson and forward Larry Nance Jr. –– neither of whom has made an impact this postseason. 

With Irving recently undergoing the third knee procedure of his young career, it’s too early to call the trade a slam dunk win for the Celtics. But the Cavaliers received little value in return for Irving. Thomas and Jae Crowder are no longer on the team, and Ante Zizic is buried at the end of the bench. To make matters worse, the Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, which the Cavs also received in the deal, is the No. 8 overall selection. Vin Baker is the last All-Star to be taken at that spot, and he entered the league in 1993. 

Granted, the Cavaliers were in a tough spot with Irving last summer. He reportedly threatened to have knee surgery during the regular season if he stayed in Cleveland, which would’ve knocked him out for the bulk of the year. That didn’t leave the Cavs with a lot of leverage.

But context is seldom remembered when trades are judged. The fact is, the Cavaliers traded a 25-year-old All-Star point guard who’s hit the winning shot in Game 7 of the NBA Finals, and only have the No. 8 overall pick to show for it.

And, as anybody who’s watched the Eastern Conference Finals would point out, they miss Irving more than the Celtics. 

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