Boston Celtics make a “Thunder”ous trade and go for “Green”
Hey Jeff Green! Could you switch jerseys with Kendrick Perkins real quick?
Wow. Just Wow. Being born a Boston Celtics fan where I have followed them from the lowest of lows to their last couple of years of becoming relevant through the eyes of basketball fans again, I did not see this trade coming. I mean I knew that Danny Ainge was itching to make a splash before the trade deadline but I didn’t think he was going to create a tidal wave that would alter the basketball landscape in Boston.
In a surprising move that left teammates and fans in a state of shock, the Boston Celtics sent Kendrick Perkins and guard Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Jeff Green (who was originally drafted by the Celtics and traded to the Sonics in 2007) and veteran center Nenad Krstic. Not finished with wheeling and dealing, Ainge then proceeded to trade rookies Semih Erden and Luke Harangody to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a 2013 second-round draft pick from Minnesota and finally shipping out Marquis Daniels, to the Sacramento Kings for a 2017 protected second-round draft pick. Too many transactions for one day am I right? You still with me?
While almost every blog post, forum comment, and expert analysis have deemed this a team gutting and that Danny Ainge has lost his marbles, it took me a few hours to realize what his frame of mind was when making these deals. We all know that Celtics Management’s main goal is to build a future after the Big Three of Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett, and Ray Allen. What people don’t realize is that a great portion of the team’s salary is taken up by the Big Three and Rajon Rondo.
After taking a quick look at the Celtics’ Team Salary, Danny has a lot of players with expiring contracts with Perkins and Glen “Big Baby” Davis being among the cream of the crop. Perkins already rejected a contract extension and with big men in high demand in the league, Ainge had to pull the trigger and ship the big man to get some value in return. From a business sense, I have to applaud Ainge for making the trades. Of course the Celtics are a much smaller team but the upside is that you have a young athletic player with Jeff Green, a few future draft picks, and a better offensive center with Nenad Krstic (even though he’s a complete nutcase for throwing a chair during an in-game brawl). Will the team gel in time for a deep playoff run? Is Danny going to pick up possible buyout players Troy Murphy, Rip Hamilton, and Samuel Dalembert? So many questions so little time left in the season and only time will tell.