Kyrie Irving
Kyrie Irving has enjoyed his time in Boston since leaving LeBron’s shadow in Cleveland (USA Today Sports/Ken Blaze)

Everyone knows the story; Kyrie Irving was traded for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic, and the Brooklyn Nets 2018 first round pick during the summer. It’s natural to draw immediate comparisons between Irving and Thomas during their first seasons in their new homes. Irving has thrived in his time with the Celtics as Boston currently holds the number one seed in the East. Thomas has sat out most of the year because of his injured hip. Since he’s returned, Thomas has been, well, anemic to say the least.

The discontent within the Cavs locker room may be stemming because the players are have realized Thomas isn’t on Irving’s level:

“There are natural comparisons being drawn in the Cavs’ locker room between Thomas and Irving, by virtue of them playing the same position and being swapped for one another,” ESPN’s Dave McMenamin writes. “Irving, who has led the Celtics to a firm hold on the No. 1 record in the East, was known for turning it on at times during the Cavs’ annual doldrums and raising everyone’s level of intensity — James included. And Irving shined in the biggest moments, averaging 29.4 points on 47.2 percent shooting in the Finals against the (Golden State) Warriors last June.”
Cleveland has lost nine of their last twelve games and the team has struggled to integrate Thomas into the rotation. Cleveland already ranks 29th in defensive efficiency and Isaiah Thomas is widely known as the worst defensive player in the NBA who dies on every screen.
The anticipation in a lot of people’s minds was that Thomas was going to be 90 percent of what Irving was. It turns out that Thomas was merly a product of Brad Stevens shooting 36.1 percent on the season. At this point, Cleveland doesn’t have a prayer to beat Golden State in the NBA Finals without making a move. Boston might even be better than Cleveland, right?