Fantasy Impact of Blockbuster Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas Trade

By Vincent Frank on Wednesday, August 23rd 2017
Fantasy Impact of Blockbuster Kyrie Irving-Isaiah Thomas Trade

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics pulls off what could be described as one of the biggest trades in modern NBA history. 

Cleveland sent the disgruntled Irving to the conference-rival Celtics on Tuesday in exchange for All-Star guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, big man Ante Zizic and the rights to Brooklyn's first-round pick in the 2018 NBA Draft. 

Yeah, this is what we in the business call a blockbuster. 

But what are the fantasy ramifications of this trade? How will the star players be impacted? 

Let's take a gander. 

First off, Thomas now heads to a Cavaliers team where he will not be tasked with being the No. 1 scoring option. Instead, that goes to LeBron James. Last season saw Thomas average 28.9 points on 19.4 shot attempts per game. That's an average of a robust 1.5 points per shot. 

And while Thomas was one of the top fantasy backcourt players, he didn't put up the assist numbers of traditional point guards, averaging less than six dishes per game. 

So while Thomas' scoring might go down in Cleveland, we can fully expect him to up his assist numbers with the likes of James and Kevin Love to team up with. 

On the other hand, Irving's new situation is dynamic in that he takes over as the Celtics' No. 1 scoring option, even ahead of the newly acquired Gordon Hayward. 

Considering Irving averaged 25.2 points per game in 2016-17, it came on less than 20 shots per game. Without another elite-level scorer like he had in Cleveland, we fully expect Irving to average 23-plus shots. With Hayward acting as another perimeter threat, that will lead to a much better effective field goal percentage.

In short, it would not be a surprise to see Irving average 30-plus points and north of 10 dimes per game in 2017-18. If so, that puts him right up there with Russell Westbrook and James Harden as the best backcourt option in the fake basketball world. 

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