Irving-Thomas deal continues NBA summer of blockbuster moves
The group of 2017 Eastern Conference All-Stars who have changed teams this summer would form an impressive starting lineup.
When the Cleveland Cavaliers sent Kyrie Irving to the Boston Celtics on Tuesday night for a package that included Isaiah Thomas, it represented the latest in a series of blockbuster offseason moves featuring some of the league’s biggest names.
Five of the 12 players initially selected to represent the East in the All-Star Game have changed teams since. The list of East selections goes up to 13 with the addition of New York Knicks forward Carmelo Anthony, who was added to the team as an injury replacement for Cleveland’s Kevin Love.
A total of seven 2017 All-Stars have switched teams since the All-Star game once West selection DeMarcus Cousins and Gordon Hayward are taken into account, though Cousins’ trade happened while the 2016-17 season was still going on.
Those totals don’t even account for nine-time All-Star guard Chris Paul’s move from the Los Angeles Clippers to the Houston Rockets because he technically wasn’t on an All-Star roster last season for the first time since 2007.
Here’s a look at the 2017 All-Stars who have changed addresses since the All-Star Game.
JIMMY BUTLER: After spending six seasons with the Chicago Bulls, the three-time All-Star went to the Minnesota Timberwolves along with No. 16 overall draft pick Justin Patton in a draft-night trade that sent guards Zach LaVine and Kris Dunn plus No. 7 overall pick Lauri Markkanen to Chicago.
DeMARCUS COUSINS: On a trade that actually occurred during All-Star weekend, the Sacramento Kings sent Cousins and forward Omri Casspi to the New Orleans Pelicans for guards Tyreke Evans, Buddy Hield and Langston Galloway as well as 2017 first- and second-round picks. Cousins, a three-time All-Star, was in his seventh season with the Kings.
PAUL GEORGE: After George indicated he planned to leave Indiana as a free agent next summer, the Pacersr went ahead and dealt the four-time All-Star to the Oklahoma City Thunder this summer for guard Victor Oladipo and forward Damontas Sabonis. George had been with the Pacers for his entire seven-season career.
GORDON HAYWARD: The free-agent forward signed a four-year contract worth about $128 million to leave the Utah Jazz for the Boston Celtics . Hayward, who made the All-Star Game for the first time in 2017, spent seven seasons with Utah.
KYRIE IRVING: After word got out last month that Irving had requested a trade, the Cavaliers finally dealt him to Boston for a package including Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and the 2018 first-round pick that the Celtics had obtained from the Brooklyn Nets. Irving, a four-time All-Star, spent six seasons in Cleveland and helped the Cavaliers win the 2016 NBA title .
PAUL MILLSAP: The four-time All-Star joined the Denver Nuggets on a three-year deal worth about $90 million after spending four seasons with the Atlanta Hawks. This marks a return to the Western Conference for Millsap, who played seven seasons in Utah before coming to Atlanta.
ISAIAH THOMAS: His move to Cleveland comes after he had a career-best season while helping Boston reach the Eastern Conference finals. This isn’t the first time Thomas has been traded. He spent three seasons in Sacramento and began the 2014-15 season with Phoenix before the Celtics acquired him.
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