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Sports Today: Did the Cavs fleece the Celtics for Kyrie Irving?


On the surface, the Kyrie Irving trade from Cleveland to Boston for three players and a first-round draft pick to Boston seems pretty one-sided to me. 

I'm not sure there's a whole lot of difference between Irving and fellow All-Star Isaiah Thomas, and then Cleveland got back multiple other useful pieces. 

Plus the guy they sent away didn't want to be there.

RELATED: Cleveland sends Kyrie Irving to Boston for Isaiah Thomas, more

I don't know how much closer to being able to beat Golden State the Cavaliers got, but they certainly didn't get further away. 

I know Irving made that game-winning shot two years ago, but they also got back the type of guy who can make that shot. 

They are both great-however-one-dimensional players. 

Entering the summer — and even more so as it wound down — the Cavaliers looked sort of locked into the team they already had. That was good and bad. They clearly weren't as good is Golden State last year, but they were obviously still better than everyone in the East and getting to the Finals is the first step in winning them. 

Whatever move they made always brought a greater risk of dropping them a notch than raising them, but this seems to be about as well as they could have hoped to do. 

There may be more than meets eye, but my initial reaction is Cleveland's management did an amazing job of turning lemons into lemonade. 

I'm not exactly sure what Boston was thinking, although I have gathered from some reading about the team they weren't completely sure how committed they wanted to be to Thomas long-term. Still, even if that's the case, Cleveland was in an even worse situation with Irving's trade demand… 

Meanwhile, I'm somewhat baffled by the comments of Bengals offensive lineman Eric Winston, who is the president of the NFL Players Association. 

Earlier this week, he talked about the likelihood of a work stoppage hitting the NFL when the current CBA runs out in 2021, saying another lockout might “kill the golden goose” and if it did he wouldn’t really care because he’ll be done playing anyway. 

Shortsighted as that opinion is, he is entitled to it and the bad PR that comes with it (Although I wonder what would happen to his pension and other benefits if the league ceased to exist.) 

The owners did play with fire in 2011 in locking out the players basically to attempt to make a CBA that was good for ownership even better, and if the owners do that again in four years they will be taking an unnecessary risk again. 

So far the impression I’ve gotten from seeing players publicly question the value of NBA deals was that a strike is more likely than a lockout, but that’s also beside the point today. 

The most bizarre thing Winston did was explain his “working theory” about why fans seem to tend to side with management in labor disputes:

“I think fans look at the team and say that’s their team.” 

Umm, yeah. This was a surprise? 

A natural followup here would be, what would the league’s income be if there were no fans, but there’s more

“You think you’re going to go on the radio and convince the fans - most fans have a boss and they’re working men, too - but they don’t look at this the same way. They don’t look at issues the way we look at issues - wages, hours, working conditions. You could talk about the same things in a coal miners’ meeting as we do in our meetings and at the end of the day it boils down to those topics.”

Well, coal miners are actually trying to make sure they get a living wage for their also-very-dangerous jobs so the optics are understandably a bit different. 

Being millionaires doesn’t make players any less deserving of the rights all workers should enjoy, but it does lower the stakes quite a bit when everyone on the outside knows that both sides are going to be doing very well when all is said and done, which is not the case in “real world” labor disputes.  

Would it make more sense for fans to side with the millionaires than the billionaires? I guess you could say that, but the fact is fans are almost certainly not going to benefit either way. 

I've always felt siding with ownership generally makes more sense for fans because if the owners lose, they are simply going to pass the added costs on to the paying customer anyway. 

They’ll probably do that if they win, too, just to be safe, but that’s the benefit of being in control… 

Back in Cleveland, the Browns made news this morning by naming DeShone Kizer their starting quarterback

Time will tell if this was the right move, but I’m guessing it was. 

I am a big believer in his ability to be a front-line starter in the NFL, and it makes sense to get a guy experience as soon as possible if he shows he can handle enough of the offense to be viable. 

The risk comes in ruining a young player’s confidence to the point he can’t get it back, though if someone is going to be a real franchise quarterback maybe he’s predisposed to be mentally strong enough to handle more adversity.  

For what it’s worth, he didn’t seem to react all that well with things crumbling around him at Notre Dame last season, but I’m sure there were a lot of moving parts there out of his control… 

Lastly, news broke this morning the decision about who will be Ohio State’s backup quarterback to start the season got easier — and not for a good reason. 

Joe Burrow, a sophomore from Athens, broke his hand in practice and will be out for a month or more. 

That means redshirt freshman Dwayne Haskins Jr. will likely be the backup unless true freshman Tate Martell (who has impressed in camp but still would likely be best served by a redshirt year) can really close fast. 

It’s quite literally a tough break for Burrow as by all accounts this was a race that was too close to call. 


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