Golden State Warriors: Would it be better if Cavaliers/Celtics trade was vetoed??

CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 03: Isaiah Thomas
CLEVELAND, OH - NOVEMBER 03: Isaiah Thomas /

The Golden State Warriors are waiting to see how the trade between the Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics plays out. What is the best-case scenario for them?

The Cleveland Cavaliers and the Boston Celtics stunned the entire NBA when they completed a blockbuster trade. The Cavs sent Kyrie Irving to the Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, and the Brooklyn Nets’ pick. It became one of the biggest moves in an already exciting offseason.

After losing the NBA Finals for the second time in three years, the Cavaliers were sent into an offseason with a lot of questions. LeBron James’ future with the team is uncertain as he’s a free agent following the 2018 season and there are rumors that he is looking to leave again. The more pressing issue for Cleveland was Irving’s place considering he requested a trade to, reportedly, get out of James’ shadow.

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The Celtics, despite earning the top seed in the Eastern Conference, proved that they were nowhere near the Cavaliers’ level in the Conference Finals. They missed out on stars Paul George and Jimmy Butler, but they managed to sign Gordon Hayward. With plenty of assets and valuable pieces, Danny Ainge was looking for the right deal.

In a surprise move, they decided to deal Thomas, who became the face of the franchise, and the pick they tried to hold onto for a very long time. It sent shockwaves throughout the league. But it might not go through.

Thomas injured his hip during last year’s playoffs. It hasn’t completely healed and the Cavaliers have concerns. They are considering vetoing the trade.

There are several things that could happen. The Cavaliers could request that the Celtics throw in more. If not, then everyone would just return to their original team.

Would this be the best-case scenario for Golden State? While Thomas is no Irving, the addition of Crowder and the pick are very nice pieces. Crowder would help that lackluster defense and the pick would prepare them for a post-LeBron James world.

If Irving returned to Cleveland, it would put together the duo that defeated Golden State last. However, it’s unlikely that it would be a comfortable situation. Irving has burned all of his bridges there.

Would Cleveland get a better deal than what Boston offered them? Suitors like the San Antonio Spurs and New York Knicks cannot offer an individual player like Thomas or a pick like that Brooklyn one. So they might not.

However, they could get pieces that would entice James to stay long-term. Thomas has one year left on his deal and it’s unlikely Cleveland would want to extend a max contract offer to him. The 5’9 point guard will be 29 next year and, at his size, it’s hard to know how successful he’d be in the long run.

The Warriors could exploit Thomas. He’s a great offensive player, but he is a defensive liability with an injury under his belt. Crowder’s defensive versatility could be a problem.

Perhaps a rehabbing Thomas dealing with an injury and getting accustomed to his new team wouldn’t be the worst thing in the world. Though, admittedly, if the trade were vetoed and Irving returned to Cleveland for the beginning of the season, the drama would be incredible to watch.

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Unless other offers for Irving were horrible, this deal still works for the Warriors. The trade could benefit Golden State because the featured piece can’t quite stay on the floor against them during crunch time. Regardless, it doesn’t matter if Irving is in Cleveland, Boston, San Antonio, New York, the Moon, etc., the Warriors are the better team.

Outside of the top two players, the Cavaliers–their likely Finals opponent–just doesn’t have enough to stop them. Ultimately, it doesn’t matter who ends up where, but a move that takes Irving off of the Cavaliers might be the best thing for Golden State.