The Boston Celtics have acquired All-Star point guard Kyrie Irving from the Cleveland Cavaliers for point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, center Ante Zizic and Brooklyn’s 2018 unprotected first-round pick, the team announced Tuesday night. Irving, 25, requested a trade during a July meeting with Cavaliers owner Dan Gilbert. At the time, Irving said he wanted to play in a situation in which he could be more of a focal point and that he no longer wanted to play alongside LeBron James, sources said.

Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said that it was a very tough phone call to inform Thomas, who had emerged as the face of the franchise since arriving at the trade deadline in February 2015. Ainge also said the Celtics did their homework on Irving after his falling out with James in Cleveland and said the player was “excited” to be joining the Celtics. He also acknowledged that Irving’s price tag was high. Pressed on the difficulty of giving up the unprotected Brooklyn pick, Ainge noted, “We valued it from the time we got it and it’s still very valuable. Obviously, we value Kyrie more. It’s that simple.” Irving has three years and $60 million left on his contract, but he can opt out of the final year before the 2019-20 season.

Thomas, 28, led the Celtics to the best record in the Eastern Conference last season, averaging 28.9 points and 5.9 assists over 33.8 minutes per game during the regular season. Thomas has spent the offseason recovering from a right hip injury that kept him out of the final three games of the Eastern Conference finals. He opted not to have surgery. Ainge said Thomas’ injury did play “some” into him making the deal. Celtics coach Brad Stevens said Monday that he was not sure Thomas would be ready for the start of training camp. Sources told ESPN that while Cleveland is not sure when Thomas will be able to return to the court, the Cavaliers have no short-term concerns about the injury. The team, sources said, is anxious to have its own doctors look at Thomas’ hip and will spend the year monitoring it. Thomas will become a free agent at the end of the 2017-18 season. He has said he believes he’s worthy of a maximum contract.

Crowder has been a core piece of the Celtics’ resurgence. A solid perimeter defender, the 27-year-old forward averaged 13.9 points and 5.8 rebounds last season. He also has one the friendliest cap numbers in the NBA: $6.8 million, $7.3 million and $7.8 million over the next three seasons. He does not become a free agent until the summer of 2020. Zizic was the Celtics’ first-round pick in 2016 (23rd overall). He’s a highly regarded 20-year-old out of Croatia described by ESPN’s Fran Fraschilla as “one of my favorite kids in this draft. He’s 6-11, 240. He has a mean streak.” In addition to his tremendous upside, Zizic was also included for salary purposes.

Irving waived a $5.8 million trade kicker — 15 percent of total money remaining on his Cleveland deal — to join Boston, sources said. The trade will give Cleveland $29.1 million in tax savings. Cleveland’s tax is now $49.3 million, down from $78.4 million. The Celtics and Cavaliers open the season against each other in Cleveland on Oct. 17. “Opening night should be interesting,” a Cavs player who requested anonymity told ESPN.

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