Jason Whitlock: Isaiah Thomas being traded from Boston ‘has destroyed him’

Video Details

Chris Broussard and Jim Jackson join Doug Gottlieb and Jason Whitlock to discuss whether being traded by Boston has damaged Isaiah Thomas' career.

JASON WHITLOCK: All right, I got two takeaways here. Clearly, Kyrie Irving won the trade, won the breakup. I think we all can agree on that. But I think there may be a bigger takeaway that Broussard turned me onto in the commercial break is like, more than Kyrie winning the trade.

Isaiah Thomas is the biggest loser perhaps in NBA history. This trade has destroyed him. What's the bigger takeaway? Kyrie winning the trade or Isaiah Thomas never getting anywhere close to a max contract?

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Yeah, I mean, I.T., I feel terrible for him, because he's making $6.5 million a year after being fifth in the MVP vote. And you look at some guys, Allen Crabb, Evan Turner, Chandler Parsons. We could go down the line. Guys who've gotten what is that? $18 plus million a year?

I wouldn't be surprised if this summer he gets, because the market's not going to be what it was. I got to be honest, I hope this isn't the case. I could see him getting a mid-level exception for multiple years.

JIM JACKSON: Well, you think about it too. In Boston, you figure if you're Isaiah, you led the team, you got the number one seed, your agent is saying next year's your big year. OK? You're going to get the max deal. Injury happens. Ow, OK, I'm going to Cleveland. LeBron leaves, he comes, he stays, I'm going to get the max deal.

I'm going to be--, I get traded. I mean, you feel bad for the young man because of a situation. But I'm going to go back and I said this. Danny Ainge knew something. Danny Ainge knew one, injury, how bad he was injured. Two, that he really couldn't leave Boston to where ultimately he thought they needed to be. So from a general manager perspective, shrewdness--

CHRIS BROUSSARD: He did the right thing.

JIM JACKSON: He did the right thing. But you do feel for Isaiah what other dude's getting paid--

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Because he's 29

JIM JACKSON: But he didn't get a chance to get his.

DOUG GOTTLIEB: We are missing the Kyrie part of this, right? I mean, people crushed Kyrie Irving.

JASON WHITLOCK: Kyrie laughing right now.

DOUG GOTTLIEB: How could you do, you said, what's bigger? OK, how could you leave LeBron James and seven straight, it's a guarantee you're going to the finals again. How could you do that? We crushed him. I'm sitting there going, Kyrie Irving's pretty good now. And now he's got his own team in the Celtics that, if this thing continues to blow up, they might get to the finals this year without Gordon Hayward.

And you've got Danny Ainge, who if I'm a GM, I got his cell phone number blocked. Don't call me. Because every trade he ends up winning. You got Jayson Tatum, you got Jaylen Brown. He's sitting there laughing. Look, Isaiah Thomas' reputation and really his value was already established in this trade. We should have known better.

It was a three for one, right? So in order to get this trade made, they had to include Jae Crowder, a starter. They had to include that Brooklyn pick. Otherwise it wouldn't have gotten it done. So I think even the Cavs knew what Isaiah Thomas' value is. Kyrie is the one that is more, his win is more pronounced than the loss of I.T.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Here's the thing. It's all about expectations. Kyrie has ended up in a great situation, no ifs, ands or buts about it. But what are the expectations? Kyrie can have a great year, not get to the finals and it's is a great year for Kyrie.

JIM JACKSON: Sounds like a winner to me.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: But that's the thing. Is Kyrie Irving any closer to a championship now than he was with LeBron? I say if he had stayed in Cleveland, he's closer to a championship or getting to the finals. He still would be a perennial all-star. The only thing he gained and again, he ended up well, but the only thing he got here that he didn't have there is he may be in the MVP conversation. That's it. He's going to be a perennial--

JIM JACKSON: Better coach, he got a better coach out of the deal.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Better coach, but again--


DOUG GOTTLIEB: That's always an argument. Like if he can get Isaiah Thomas to average 29 points, what can Brad Stevens do for--

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Well, Kyrie's not putting up the same numbers Isaiah put up.

DOUG GOTTLIEB: I understand. And hasn't actually though, they're 17-12 here over the last 29.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: That's what I'm saying.

DOUG GOTTLIEB: People aren't paying attention to it, because it's the drama of LeBron. But remember, you're taking it in the context if Gordon Hayward's hurt, they would, if Gordon Hayward was healthy right now, healthy right now, we would say Cleveland's the second best team in the East.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Maybe. I'm not--


CHRIS BROUSSARD: I don't think that's a guarantee.

DOUG GOTTLIEB: But you just said--

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Tatum probably wouldn't be doing as much as he's doing, and Brown.

DOUG GOTTLIEB: If it were like revisionist history, whatever. Like I said at the time of the injury, this helps the Celtics long-term, hurts them short-term. But when Gordon Hayward returns, you got Hayward under contract long-term, you got Kyrie, you got Tatum for three more years on a rookie deal, and Jaylen Brown. Like dude, yes, they are closer to a championship--

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Now? Than if he had stayed in Cleveland playing with LeBron?

DOUG GOTTLIEB: Again, it's an impossible comparison because Gordon Hayward's hurt.


JASON WHITLOCK: [INAUDIBLE] Cleveland just blew the whole thing up.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: But LeBron and Kyrie--

DOUG GOTTLIEB: They just said we lost the trade.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: LeBron and Kyrie, well they didn't lose the trade. But I'm saying for Kyrie Irving, if it's about winning the championship, he's getting more individual love. But is, and he's happier as a person. But is he any closer to a title--

JIM JACKSON: What more do you need?

CHRIS BROUSSARD: 'Cause when they get better. I'm talking about in basketball. If it's about winning championships--

DOUG GOTTLIEB: Are the Cavs winning a championship this year?



JIM JACKSON: Next year.


JIM JACKSON: But with Kyrie, they have a better chance of doing that than--

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Boston with Kyrie right now. And even next year, OK, what about those boys in Philly? I mean, they're going to be coming pretty soon. Toronto is arguably just as good as Boston, if not better. I mean it's not like Boston's go run through the East even if LeBron leaves.

DOUG GOTTLIEB: They had Gordon Hayward. Jayson Tatum next year.

CHRIS BROUSSARD: Gordon Hayward's a one-time all-star.

DOUG GOTTLIEB: Oh, but again, if he's their second or third best player, do you believe in Jayson Tatum?


DOUG GOTTLIEB: Do you believe Jaylen Brown?

CHRIS BROUSSARD: I think they--

DOUG GOTTLIEB: Do you believe in Brad Stevens?

CHRIS BROUSSARD: I think they're going to put together a package


JASON WHITLOCK: They're going to have to go wide.


Hold up, Doug.

JIM JACKSON: Here's the reason why. It's almost like bring Andrew Wiggins into Cleveland. It's going to stymie his growth. It's going to stymie, because LeBron is so ball dominant, Kyrie was so ball dominant, that he wasn't going to be able to grow. So if you got Jayson Tatum, you got Gordon Hayward, you got Jaylen Brown, somebody in there is not going to work.

I mean long-term. Short-term you can get away with it. But if you ultimately want to see Jayson Tatum be the player that he wants to be, he got to play 35--

JASON WHITLOCK: At the end of the day, because I don't want to go too far, but at the end of the day, Kyrie Irving's got to be rather pleased with himself.

JIM JACKSON: He's sitting back here like this.

JASON WHITLOCK: He avoided a disaster.


JIM JACKSON: I told you, I told you.

- He's so good, that people are like, maybe the earth is flat.