“Kyrie is one of the best scorers in the NBA. He has proven that on the biggest stage, the NBA Finals, the last three years,” said Celtics President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge. “He’s been an NBA Champion, an Olympic Gold Medalist, and a four-time All-Star. For all he’s accomplished, we think his best years are ahead of him.”
Selected by Cleveland with the first overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Irving, 25, has posted career averages of 21.6 points (45.7% FG, 38.3% 3-PT, 87.3% FT), 3.4 rebounds, 5.5 assists, 1.32 steals and 34.2 minutes in 381 games (all starts) throughout six seasons with the Cavaliers. The 6-3 guard has registered a scoring average north of 20.0 points in four of his six NBA seasons, including a career-high 25.2 points in 2016-17.
Irving played a vital role in helping Cleveland capture its first NBA title in 2016, averaging 25.2 points on 47.5% shooting (44.0% 3-PT), and 4.7 assists during the Cavaliers 21-game playoff run to history. He scored a postseason-high 41 points on 17-of-24 shooting (5-7 3-PT) in a win against the Warriors in Game 5 of the NBA Finals that season, one of 18 games in which the Duke product logged at least 20 points. In three career postseason appearances, all of which resulted in trips to the NBA Finals, Irving has averaged 23.9 points (46.5% FG, 41.5% 3-PT, 87.6% FT), 3.1 rebounds, 4.7 assists, 1.46 steals and 36.4 minutes in 52 games.
In parts of three seasons with the Celtics, Thomas averaged 24.7 points (44.3% FG, 36.8% 3-PT, 88.9% FT), 2.7 rebounds and 6.0 assists. Crowder produced 12.8 points (44.4% FG, 35.3% 3-PT, 80.4% FT), 5.2 rebounds and 1.8 assists in parts of three seasons in Boston.
“Isaiah embodied what it meant to be a Celtic. He captured fans’ hearts not only with his spirit, but his personality,” said Ainge. “Jae’s toughness was contagious for our team. He improved his skills each year, but it’s his energy and fight that will be remembered. We wish them and their families the very best.”