Cleveland Cavaliers get Donovan Mitchell locks out Kyrie Irving trade win

Once again, we need to debunk the idea that the Cleveland Cavaliers “lost” Kyrie Irving’s trade.

Leave it to a Barstool Sports personality not to get the depth and nuance of a craft. The Cleveland Cavaliers traded Kyrie Irving five years ago, and to this day people still don’t realize that this trade was not only a massive win for the Cavs, but is fundamentally responsible for the current roster of this team. So much so that the Irving trade was directly responsible for the Cavs getting Donovan Mitchell.

Not directly, of course, but indirectly. If you follow Irving’s trade tree to the Boston Celtics, you can see that the Cavs ended up turning Irving into Mitchell, Ricky Rubio and Jarrett Allen; all the key elements for the present and the future of this team.

Not only that, but guys like Collin Sexton, Larry Nance and Dylan Windler were also acquired due to the Irving trade. So not only did Irving bring Mitchell to the Cavs through the Sexton-to-Utah trade, but the Irving trade also gave the Cavaliers the parts and pieces needed to rotate players like Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder and others in various other assets, which were then turned into other assets until we had Mitchell in Cleveland.

Should the “trade tree” determine the success of a trade?

Personally, I think the trade tree is important. Irving was traded for Thomas, Crowder, the pick that became Sexton, Ante Zizic and a second-round pick. Without Thomas, the Cavs ultimately couldn’t trade for Jordan Clarkson or Larry Nance Jr. Clarkson would be shipped off for Dante Exum, who would later be included in a future package alongside a Bucks first-round pick for Allen.

Without Crowder, the Cavs don’t get George Hill. Without Hill, the Cavs can’t trade for first-round pick Buck, who would then be traded to Exum for Allen. Allen arrived in Cleveland with Taurean Prince, who would later be traded for Ricky Rubio. Crowder’s trade also helped the Cavs land Dylan Windler.

Without Nance, the Cavs can’t get Lauri Markkanen. Markannen and Sexton then became the centerpiece of the trade that netted the Mitchell Cavs.

Overall, the Celtics have nothing to show for Irving’s trade. Irving was traded and then left, leaving the Celtics holding an empty sack. The Cavs, meanwhile, turned Thomas, Crowder and Sexton into Mitchell, Allen and Rubio.

So clearly, the Cavs won the Irving trade.

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