When defending Cleveland general manager Koby Altman and the July 2017 trade that sent Irving from Cleveland to Boston, Gilbert told the Cleveland Plain Dealer why he believes the Cavaliers won the exchange.
"I don't know, but I think Kyrie will leave Boston," Gilbert said. "We could have ended up with nothing. Looking back after all the moves Koby made, we killed it in that trade."
Cleveland traded Irving for Boston point guard Isaiah Thomas, forward Jae Crowder, Ante Žižić, a 2018 first-round pick, and a 2020 second-round pick. Thomas and Crowder were traded midway through their first season with the Cavaliers.
Žižić became a starter with the Cavs this season. Cleveland used the first-round pick on Alabama point guard Collin Sexton.
Irving has made two All-Star Games with the Celtics. Boston lost in the second round of the NBA Playoffs to the Milwaukee Bucks this year.
Cleveland went 19-63 this season. The Cavaliers have the No. 5 overall pick in the NBA Draft.