Irving reportedly told the Cavs that he'd have knee surgery during the year if they didn't trade him.
Kyrie Irving is having a terrific season, and the Celtics are the East's number one seed while the Cavs are in full disarray. At present, it appears that whatever Irving did to get the Cavs to trade him to Boston was worth it.
Even threatening surgery.
According to a report from Cleveland.com's Joe Vardon, Irving went as far as to threaten sitting out regular season games to have a knee procedure if the Cavs didn't trade him.
Vardon says sources told him that Irving does indeed need a minor knee surgery as a follow-up to the procedure he had following the 2015 finals, but that the type of operation he needs is typically done in the offseason. Per Vardon, Irving made it known that if the Cavs didn't heed his trade request, he would not report to training camp and then have the surgery during the season.
Because Irving still had two years left on his contract when he requested the trade, his demand didn't have much leverage. If the Cavs didn't trade him, he contractually cannot just refuse to play if he's healthy. But if he's missing time with an injury, there would be nothing the Cavs could do.
Irving, of course, was eventually traded to the Celtics in exchange for Isaiah Thomas, Jae Crowder, Ante Zizic and the Brooklyn Nets' 2018 first-round pick.
If the knee is bothering him, Irving certainly isn't showing it. The 25-year-old is averaging 24.5 points and 5.0 assists on a career-high 48% from the field, and he was named an All-Star starter.