Aug 31, 2017
by Chase Gage
BOSTON — We never should have been worried about this trade going through. It was a guarantee from the beginning.
Recently, a hoard of NBA fans fell into a classic trap set by the the media. The Cavaliers never intended to back out of the trade, and the Celtics knew that. However, in the lull between the Finals and the first major football game, any news is good news for sports media.
Here’s how it went down:
The media needed a story. A journalist found a technicality. Neither team made an official statement on the issue, leading to extreme speculation. Both teams waited until the absolute last minute to do anything, as to drag it out as long as possible.
The Cavaliers knew Thomas had a bad hip. They literally played against him in the ECF one night and he was gone the next because of a nagging hip injury. He later had surgery on it. They knew this all along. Someone simply looked in the rulebook and said “hey, you know they can technically void the trade since IT is still kinda hurt, right?” and the feeding frenzy was on.
The Celtics were smart to stand their ground and not give in to any “demands” by the Cavaliers. The final result was an additional pick. Not a Nets pick. Not a Lakers pick. Not even a first-round pick. The 2020 Miami second-round pick. Did the Celtics really need that pick? Not at all. They’ve still got 73 more second-round picks in the next five years.
After news broke of the trade, the deal was basically done. There was no turning back. Thomas and Crowder could not return to the Celtics because another trade would have to be made after that relationship was severed. The same goes for Kyrie and the Cavs. If the trade fell through, another one would have to be drawn up. The problem with this scenario is that the value of each player would drop significantly. The teams would be desperate to get anything out of their new trades and both teams would suffer.
NBA teams love being in the news spotlight though. There’s no such thing as bad press coverage.
This ploy simply took the spotlight off of the Warriors, Lakers, Timberwolves, Rockets, Thunder, etc. for a little while. Now going into football season, people are thinking about the Celtics and Cavs. Then their attention will shift to the NFL.
Pretty clever, huh? All that and nothing really changed except for where your attention was focused.