This convinced owner Dan Gilbert that the relationship was broken beyond fix, and new general manager Koby Altman traded Irving to the Celtics for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and two draft picks, including one that was originally the Nets' first-round choice in the 2018 draft.
The Boston Celtics point guard, who conspicuously requested a trade from the Cavs this summer, threatened to sit out the 2017-18 season and undergo knee surgery if Cleveland didn't honor his request, Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon reported Thursday, citing multiple sources.
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The Cavaliers' eventual decision to trade Irving also upset LeBron James, according to sources. Irving was angry that Cleveland had let general manager David Griffin leave and when he learned that they wanted to trade him for Paul George, Irving decided he was no longer wanted in Cleveland and demanded the trade. Gilbert did not have to trade him at all and could have held onto the point guard and forced him to remain with the team.
It wasn't a pressing matter, but Irving used it as flawless leverage to get his way in hopes to find a way out of Cleveland before the start of the new season. The report adds that the surgery would have been minor, a follow-up procedure to surgery Irving had after breaking his kneecap during the 2015 NBA Finals.