As if you needed anymore evidence the Boston Celtics’ acquisition of Kyrie Irving over the summer was ridiculously unique.
But here’s some more anyway.
Per the Boston Globe‘s Adam Himmelsbach, Celtics assistant general manager Mike Zarren relayed the story of what happened the first time he phoned the Cavaliers to inquire about Irving’s availability:
— Adam Himmelsbach (@AdamHimmelsbach) October 16, 2017
While we probably could have surmised some version of this call went down, it’s hysterical as hell to hear the words from Boston’s front office.
Kudos to Altman for being so direct as well. He didn’t dance around the obvious: The Celtics just made it to the Eastern Conference Finals. They were considered the biggest threat to the Cavaliers’ persisting conference reign. Why in the heck would Cleveland want to help them out?
For the Brooklyn Nets pick, duh.
We don’t know if that selection was on the table from the jump. Knowing Celtics president Danny Ainge, it probably wasn’t. And even if it was, the Cavaliers were in the early stages of fielding Irving’s request. They would have wanted to see what else is out there. They may have also wanted a package that armed them with more present talent, to maximize LeBron James’ remaining window. Or maybe they were hoping for a more future-centric return. Maybe they were just expecting a better offer in general.
Or maybe, just maybe, they really had no intention of sending Irving to their biggest conference rival, only to realize the Celtics, even with the All-Star point guard, weren’t really a threat at all, and that the Brooklyn pick properly armed them for the emergency scenario that included James’ departure next July.
We may never know the path Cleveland took from saying no to saying yes. But we don’t know need to. Not right now. This deal will play out in the years to come, and more details will trickle out. That’s how these things work. In the meantime, the logic and return looks good for both sides.