Isaiah Thomas Deserved Better

Isaiah Thomas got traded along with Jae Crowder and the Brooklyn pick for Kyrie Irving. The trade comes as a bit of a shock to me, considering that Cleveland is now trading its second best player to its closest conference contender, but at the same time they’re falling apart by the minute. I think Boston honestly comes out the better team, without the salary issues that come with keeping IT4 and debating whether to give him a max deal. Irving is even a better overall player than Thomas. Crowder is a decent at best player whose best attribute was his team-friendly salary. Brooklyn is finally improving, and has the potential to be a much higher lottery pick rather than first overall like last year. 

But to my main point: Thomas was the heart and soul of this team. He’s the reason Horford and Hayward signed in Boston. He was the iron-balls champion of the fourth quarter. He is the singular reason why the Celtics’ rebuilding process ended up lasting one season before they were able to reach the postseason again. To be traded away now that they’re on the cusp of beating Cleveland really sucks. 

To be clear: Irving is a better all-around player. He has demonstrated that he has the ability to be clutch, and is a better point guard (which works better now with Hayward) who can still score if he has to. The Celtics are definitely better now, especially defensively. But Thomas was the Celtics, and to see him go like this is shameful after all he’s done to bring Boston basketball back.


Don’t You Dare Trade Brady

Tom Brady is the greatest quarterback of all time. Possibly the greatst football player of all time. He turned one of the worst franchises in the NFL into a perennial winner that’s always at least in the AFC championship game. 

But a lot of people think Brady should be traded while he’s still performing at a high level, since his time in a uniform is nearing its end. Send him the way of Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, etc. Those guys got traded or released, so why shouldn’t we?

Because Brady is better than both, and his dominance is only getting stronger with age. At 39 he had perhaps the best super bowl performance ever. He’s had one severe injury that lasted one season, and came back just as strong if not stronger. He’s still The best quarterback in the league at 40 years old, poised to attack for his sixth super bowl. 

More importantly, he’s far and away the best player this franchise has ever had. Nobody comes close. Other franchises that traded their star players had other stars that were either just as big or better, even at other positions. But most importantly, no other franchise had a player who brought them 5 super bowls. He is the only 4 time super bowl MVP. He holds just about every passing record in tthe postseason and super bowl. He has 2 more appearances in super bowls than the next quarterback, and has the potential to expand everything I just mentioned.

Tom Brady is a once in a lifetime player for whom Patriots fans should be immensely grateful. It would look so wrong to see him wearing another team’s uniform. Brady is a Patriot, and to have him play every game for this team (especially if he doesn’t have a dramatic decline) would be an honor.

I’m OK With The Celtics Trading Avery Bradley

Let me start by saying I like Bradley as a player. He’s a top tier perimeter defender, a good (albeit inconsistently so) shooter, and a likeable personality. But the Celtics saw it in their best interest to trade him (and a second round pick in 2019) to the Pistons for Marcus Morris. The move has been met with mixed reactions, particularly from fans.

The trade comes following a solidly successful postseason run for a team that wasn’t expected to make it as far as they did at the beginning of 2016-17. Bradley established himself as a solid two-way player, and managed to finish second on the team in rebounds per game.

While it is a bit sad to see the last member of the “Big Three” era leave, the trade addresses a few key concerns of the Celtics’. The primary concern, at least from my perspective, was salary cap space. Bradley is due for a new contract after next year and he is expected to get upwards of $20million in free agency. With Horrors and now Hayward taking max deals, and other players like Smart and Thomas due for new contracts as well, someone had to go. Bradley does not have the same ability to score as Hayward, or to defend the interior as Smart, so his role would have been diminished in 2017-18 anyway; his departure gives Brown and Tatum a chance to play more as well. The only downsides to Bradley’s game have been inconsistency at times and injury issues, which have come at some rather inopportune moments like the Hawks playoff series in 2016.

The new guy,, Morris, will be a more effective interior rebounder than Bradley (his rebounding stats are somewhat misleading because of Andre Drummond), and his salary will be significantly lower than Bradley’s for at least the next two seasons. His toughness and durability have been lauded throughout the NBA since he began his career, and his personality has reportedly been a clubhouse benefit.

Danny Ainge called Bradley one of his favorite players when the trade was officially announced, and it’s easy to see why. People are questioning whether he “won” this trade, but that will not be apparent until we see how much Bradley gets in free agency, how the players react to their new teams during the upcoming season, and what the Celtics do with their additional cap space. On paper, Bradley is a better piece to have, but Morris may fit the team’s needs better; for that reason, i can’t say Ainge won or lost the trade by a wide enough margin to be certain. For now, though, best of luck to Bradley in Detroit and beyond, and I look forward to seeing what happens with Morris and the Celtics this year.