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Report: Cavs spent weeks pushing for Tatum in Kyrie trade

Joe Camporeale-USA TODAY Sports / Action Images

The Cleveland Cavaliers and Boston Celtics sent shockwaves through the NBA on Tuesday night when they pulled the trigger on a Kyrie Irving-for-Isaiah Thomas swap.

While the blockbuster trade seemed to materialize out of thin air, the two teams had apparently been in talks for weeks, and the reason it didn't happen sooner was because of one "major sticking point," according to The Vertical's Shams Charania: The Cavs wouldn't relent in their demand for Celtics rookie forward Jayson Tatum.

"The big discussion point with Boston and Cleveland over the past several weeks on a potential deal has always been about Jayson Tatum's involvement," Charania reported Tuesday night. "The Cavaliers coveted him greatly. I think if Tatum was involved the first day these talks transpired, this deal would have been done weeks ago. ... Boston held firm."

In the end, the Cavs settled for a package of Thomas, Jae Crowder, and the Brooklyn Nets' unprotected 2018 first-round pick, still a far more bountiful haul than teams like the Indiana Pacers and Chicago Bulls received this summer when they traded their own superstars.

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