CLEVELAND - After a month of rumors, rumblings, subtweets and Instagram videos, the Cleveland Cavaliers are trading Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, the two teams announced on Tuesday.
In addition to Thomas, an All-Star in each of the past two seasons, the Cavs will receive forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected 2018 first-round pick.
The Cavs trading of Irving comes nearly a month to the day after ESPN first reported that the 4-time All-Star had asked the franchise for a trade. A big part of Irving's desire to escape the city he helped bring a world championship to in 2016 appeared to be a fractured relationship with LeBron James, with ESPN reporting that Irving had grown "tired of being Robin to James' Batman."
In the weeks since Irving's trade request was first made public, James and Irving traded thinly veiled shots via social media.
Complicating Irving's trade request has been the uncertain future Cleveland faces with James possessing an opt-out clause in his contract for next summer. Earlier this month, Wojnarowski reported the Cavs were working under the assumption that James wouldn't be returning to the team and thus were targeting younger assets.
But in acquiring Thomas -- who will be a free agent next summer -- and the 27-year-old Crowder along with the Nets' unprotected first-round pick, Cleveland appears to have struck a balance benefiting both its short and long-term futures.
The 5-foot-9 Thomas averaged 28.9 points per game last season while helping lead the Celtics to the top seed in the Eastern Conference. The Nets, meanwhile, laid claim to an NBA-worst 20-62 record last season.
The Cavs and Celtics will meet on opening night in Cleveland on Oct. 17.
WATCH: WKYC Channel 3's Jim Donovan and Dave DeNatale react to the deal during the Donovan Live Postgame Show on WKYC's Facebook Live:
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