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Tuesday, August 22 NBA Rumors Page Stories
Updated 9:30 p.m. ET

nba rumors The Boston Celtics announced today that they have acquired four-time All-Star and 2016 NBA Champion Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers in exchange for guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the rights to the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first round pick. Inside Hoops

The Boston Celtics have acquired All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers for point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and Brooklyn's 2018 unprotected first-round pick, the team announced Tuesday night. ESPN.com

Irving, 25, requested a trade during a July meeting with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. Irving wants to play in a situation where he can be more of a focal point and that he no longer wants to play alongside LeBron James, sources said. He averaged a career-high 25.2 points last season. ESPN.com

Irving has three years and $60 million left on his contract, but he can opt out of the final year before the 2019-20 season. ESPN.com

Crowder has been a core piece of the Celtics' resurgence. A solid perimeter defender, the 27-year-old forward averaged 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds last season. He also has one the friendliest cap numbers in the NBA -- $6.8 million, $7.3 million and $7.8 million. He does not become a free agent until the summer of 2020. ESPN.com

The trade will give Cleveland $29.1 million in tax savings. Cleveland's tax is now $49.3 million, down from $78.4 million. ESPN.com

“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,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “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.” Inside Hoops

The core of the trade is the swap of Thomas and Irving, both members of last year's Eastern Conference All-Star team. Both players averaged at least 25 points per game last season, with Thomas (28.9 PPG) finishing third in the league in scoring and Irving (25.2) finishing 11th. The Elias Sports Bureau notes that this is the first time in NBA history a pair of 25-point per game scorers were traded for each other the following season. ESPN.com

Irving will now combine with new teammate Gordon Hayward in Boston. Like Irving, Hayward was also a 20-point per game scorer last season, averaging 21.9 PPG with the Jazz. If the duo can both reach 20.0 PPG, it will be the first time the Celtics have a pair of 20 PPG scorers since Paul Pierce and Antoine Walker in the 2002-03 season. ESPN.com

Irving is under control for the next two seasons and has a player option for the 2019-20 NBA season, but the 25-year-old star reportedly is thrilled to be in Boston and could be ready to commit to the team for years to come. As for the loss of Thomas and Crowder, Ainge lauded what both players brought to the club during their tenure. NESN

For the rest of the Eastern Conference, teams like the Wizards, it's hard to draw major conclusions from this deal. The Cavs were the best team in the East and have a good chance of remaining the top dogs. The Celtics gave up a lot, but they also added other pieces this offseason with Gordon Hayward and Jayson Tatum. Only time will tell if either got signifincatly better or worse. Cleveland, however, does look much better off in the long run. That could affect how some view James' future, as many have speculated about whether this will be his final season with the Cavs. Now they appear to have a very sound long-term plan. CSN MidAtlantic

EARLY STORIES

nba rumors Maybe there will be a small forward from Baltimore on this season’s Knicks roster. Not Carmelo Anthony, but 6-foot-7 Jamel Artis, the Pittsburgh senior swingman who went undrafted but impressed on the Knicks’ summer league team enough to sign a partially guaranteed contract last week. Artis, who is 24 and averaged 18.2 points, 4.9 rebounds and 3.3 assists as a Pittsburgh senior, will fight for the final two roster spots when camp opens in late September. NY Post

The Knicks have 14 guaranteed contracts, leaving free one regular roster spot and one spot open for a new two-way contract that has a player split time between G-League Westchester and the Knicks. “I’d love to play the 2 or 3 – it’s mostly interchangeable,’’ Artis said. “They don’t have many 3’s there.’’ NY Post

Continuing to reshape their front office, the Clippers have hired Trent Redden as an assistant general manager, according to an NBA official who was not authorized to speak publicly on the matter. Redden had been the senior vice president of basketball operations for the Cleveland Cavaliers before he was fired along with general manager David Griffin. LA Times

John Wall, naturally, is much happier with the slate for 2017-18, as the Wizards have been given 18 national TV games. They will play nearly 22 percent of their regular season on national television. "It's great," Wall said. "I think we could have had that in the past. We had a heck of a season last year. We fell short of what we wanted to. It just means we're getting the recognition we wanted in the one of the most powerful cities in the world in basketball and sports, period. To have that, with them showing us love having our first game of the season on TV, then having a Christmas game and those types of things, that's what I think our city needs and what we want. It's big for us." CSN MidAtlantic


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