Chris Broussard thinks Cleveland won the Kyrie Irving/Isaiah Thomas trade

Chris Broussard joined Skip Bayless and Shannon Sharpe to discuss the big Isaiah Thomas for Kyrie Irving trade.

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- It is surprising whenever you see two conference rivals make a deal, especially one involving stars. I mean, that's a rarity in the NBA. So that was a bit surprising. But in over 20 years of covering the NBA and talking to executives, the best executives have always told me, while you don't want to trade a player, a star player to a division rival or in the conference, at the end of the day, you have to make the best deal for your team regardless of what it does for the other team.

And I honestly believe that this deal was good for both teams. Now to me, the most surprising element though is that a rookie GM, Koby Altman in Cleveland, who we know has only been the GM for maybe less than a month. He got the best of Danny, trader Danny Ainge. Ainge is one of the best wheelers and dealers in the league, and Altman got the best of him.

I think Cleveland won this deal, and not just because their hands were tied because Kyrie wanted to be traded. They got everything offensively that they lost in Kyrie in Isaiah Thomas. Then they added a very good defender, Jae Crowder, who I think, along with Jeff Green, which was a under-rated pickup in free agency. I think that this is bringing Cleveland back to its identity. All season long, I talked about how they lost their identity of toughness, being hard-nosed, being a defensive minded team.

Crowder will help restore that. And he does it without taking away from your three point shooting, because he's an excellent three point shooter when he spots up. Then of course, you get Brooklyn's pick in 2018? That's incredible. So even if LeBron leaves next summer, you can resign Isaiah Thomas long-term if you like. You get a top pick in next year's draft. Maybe it becomes a future franchise player.

All those things will keep Cleveland relevant. Not great, but relevant, even if LeBron leaves. So I think this was a tremendous deal for the Cavaliers.

- Wait. Did you just say that Isaiah Thomas is as good as Kyrie Irving?

- No. Kyrie is the better player. I'll give you that. But they're both great isolation players. They both can create their own shot. They both are clutch. Isaiah was one of the top fourth quarter scorers in the league last year. They're both mentally tough. Isaiah scored 53 points on his late sister's birthday, less than a month after she died in that tragic car accident. And Isaiah has proven one thing that Kyrie hasn't, even though Kyrie's better. He's proven he can lead a team to wins. Kyrie has never proven that, before LeBron, or since LeBron got there when he's out sitting out games.

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