Celtics surprisingly break up starting 5, deal Perkins & Robinson for Jeff Green & Krstic

24 Feb

It basically looks like the C’s didn’t think they could re-sign C Kendrick Perkins & the Thunder didn’t think they could re-sign SF Jeff Green, so the teams made  a swap.  Boston didn’t want to bank on Perk’s knees holding up for another postseason, & could feel the bench depth slipping away from them with each passing month.

Still, why would the Celtics make this trade??  With Perkins’ great size & toughness, he neutralized Dwight Howard & would abuse anything the Bulls, Heat or Knicks could throw at the center position come playoff time.  With him gone, the Celtics gave up one of the biggest matchup advantages they would have had in the postseason this year.  Krstic will need a lot of help from Shaq (if he can play), Jermaine O’Neal & KG whenever he guards Howard, Bynum, or another wide, physical center.

Jeff Green brings you instant scoring pop & is great for the future, but the Celtics need to win now!  Plus, they had to lose Nate Robinson in the deal just to make the money work (NBA trades have to have relatively equal total salaries for the players on each side of the deal, within roughly 20% of each other at last check).  Robinson was a guy Boston already knew jelled with the 2nd unit & was Mr. Sparkplug.  Will Green, who was averaging 15 pts./game for the Thunder, be happy playing behind Pierce, Ray Allen & KG at the 2, 3 or 4 spots – especially beyond this season?

Is Danny Ainge trying to follow the new Bill Belichick teambuilding model of Boston’s NFL franchise, where you ship off core members of your team when “their value is still high” for “younger assets” to get ready for the years ahead?  Much like the aging Patriots really could’ve used Randy Moss & Richard Seymour (players they dealt away for draft picks) in the playoffs recently, the Celtics may really regret trading away part of their starting lineup when their window to win another title is closing. 

I wonder if Doc Rivers supports this trade, considering he pointed out earlier that the starting 5 of Perk, KG, Pierce, Shuttlesworth, & Rondo had NEVER lost a playoff series when all those guys started every game of each series.  Based upon anticipated matchups, the Celtics must be pretty confident they won’t face ORL in the playoffs or LAL/DAL/OKC in the NBA Finals (if they get that far), otherwise this trade could really backfire on them.

For the Thunder, this is a big gamble I don’t blame them for making.  Big men are hard to come by, & Perkins will frustrate every center he faces in the West.  Sure, if his knees go south the Thunder are hosed, but did anybody really think they were winning it all this year or next season with the team they had?  OKC realized it had to make a move to have a chance at the title, & managed to trade small for big in the process.  Who cares if you build your team to be good enough to win 48 games & get bounced in the 1st round every year?  Most fans remember championship years; anything else is usually forgotten a few seasons later.

Also, OKC still has to pay Westbrook, & knew it couldn’t afford to give Durant, Westbrook AND Green new big contracts all within 1-2 seasons of each other.  Besides, Green provided little more than scoring punch, & the Thunder still have plenty of pieces who can put up numbers.  Hat’s off to the Thunder for making an aggressive move that will give them a legitimate chance to represent the Western Conference!

The Thunder now have just as good a shot as anyone to come out of the West if Perkins is healthy come playoff time.

 

From Chad Ford & Chris Sheridan at ESPN.com:

Just before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Boston Celtics agreed to ship center Kendrick Perkins and guard Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Jeff Green and big man Nenad Krstic in a deal the NBA approved about five hours later.

Green

Green

Krstic

Krstic

 

Neither team was done, though.

The Celtics also traded rookie center Semih Erden and forward Luke Harangody to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a 2013 second-round draft pick. The Cavaliers waived veteran forward Leon Powe to make roster room after also trading away Mo Williams and Jamario Moon for the Clippers’ Baron Davis in a separate move.

While the Celtics were unloading big men, the Thunder acquired another one, sending Morris Peterson and D.J. White to Charlotte for center Nazr Mohammed, sources told ESPN The Magazine’s Ric Bucher.

Celtics director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said Wednesday that Perkins is out at least a week after spraining the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. He missed 43 games this season recovering from right knee surgery.

Perkins

Perkins

Robinson

Robinson

 

Robinson tweeted reaction to the deal: “All I can say is wowzers — Will miss all my Boston fans I love y’all, u guys showed me love.”

It’s a homecoming of sorts for Green. He was selected by the Celtics in the first round (fifth overall) in the 2007 draft. But he was traded with Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to the then Seattle SuperSonics for Ray Allen and Glen Davis.

The Celtics’ pursuit of a slashing type player intensified when it became apparent that Marquis Daniels might miss the rest of the season with a spinal injury. Daniels himself will be rehabbing in Sacramento. The Celtics traded him and cash considerations to the Kings on Thursday for a protected second-round pick in the 2017 draft, Kings president of basketball operations Geoff Petrie announced.

Daniels has appeared in 49 games for the Celtics this season. He is averaging 5.5 points and 2.3 rebounds. He has been out since bruising his spinal cord on Feb. 6 against Orlando.

Green is averaging 15.2 points and 5.6 rebounds this season as the third option for the Thunder behind Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. In his three-year career, he has averaged 14.2 points and 5.8 rebounds per game.

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