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Thursday, February 24, 2011
The NBA Trade Deadline is Danny Ainge's favorite day of the year
Just like any other normal day, I went to Planet Fitness this afternoon. Thinking that with very few tradeable assets and a true championship contender roster (when healthy) the Celtics wouldn't make much noise before the trade deadline (3pm today) proved to be one of my worst predictions in a while.
In a series of three separate moves, the Celts shipped away five players and got only two in return. Wait what?
At first blush, seeing Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson go to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, cash and the Clippers 2012 first round pick was shocking and I have to say that I didn't like it. However, upon further review I feel like you have to trust Ainge since he's been able to make other solid (albeit not as big) deals before and after (buyouts) the trade deadline in past seasons.
In addition, Luke Harangody and Semih Erden were traded to the Cleveland Cavaliers for a 2013 second round pick. And finally, Marquis Daniels (who probably won't play this season due to his spinal injury) was sent to the Sacramento Kings for cash considerations and a protected second round pick in 2017 (haha really).
Whew and I thought the Bruins were the ones making moves before their trade deadline (next Monday).
Perkins is by far the biggest loss for Boston. He's their defensive stopper who's capable of guarding Dwight Howard, Andrew Bynum, etc. It makes you scratch your head since now the Cs will have to rely on Shaq or Jermaine O'Neal (don't hold your breath on that) along with Krstic who's not known for his defense.
For the time being, they called up Chris Johnson (2nd year 6-11 center from LSU) from the D-League since they only had eight players in Denver for their game vs. the Nuggets.
You always want to get the best player in a trade, not giving him up and it's obvious that in Jeff Green, the Celtics did so. He was drafted by Boston with the fifth pick in 2007 but then quickly shipped to Seattle for Ray Allen. We all know how that story ended up.
Green is young (24), big (6-9) and versatile. This was a move with the future in mind, a tough balance when you're trying to get Banner 18 this season. As my friend said, having Rondo and Green in a few years is much better than just Rondo and Perk. Plus, Perk's contract was going to be up after this season and I have to assume that the Celtics tried to re-sign him but couldn't so they wanted to get something in return while they could.
Losing Robinson isn't a big deal. Aside from a few playoff games last season, he never really had any consistent play. He's fun to watch but if they made a deal, you knew he would be involved. I'm also bummed to see Erden and Harangody go since they're both young players who could turn out pretty good but again, who else could they trade?
Daniels might still return next season. With two roster spots left, what does Ainge do? Troy Murphy, Leon Powe, James Posey and Richard Hamilton are names that have all been mentioned for buyouts. Murphy seems most likely and he would be a good fit: he averaged 14 points, 10 rebounds last season so he can't be completely washed up. Who knows how much Powe or Posey have left? Rip can still play but I don't see how Boston can afford him.
Got all that? It's going to take some time to digest these moves but one thing's for sure: Danny Ainge has the biggest balls in the world. The anti-Peter Chiarelli if you will. Rather than hemming or hawing for years about minor players, Ainge completely surprises you. Let's hope the Mormon is right again.
We'll miss you Perk.