Blog Entry

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Posted on: February 24, 2011 4:12 pm
Edited on: February 24, 2011 6:32 pm
Celtics trade Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic.
Posted by Matt Moore and Royce Young

It's only fitting that in one of the biggest trade seasons in NBA history, that we ended the deadline in completely insane style. Multiple outlets including Yahoo! Sports first reported and Ken Berger of has confirmed that the Boston Celtics has traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a 2012 1st round pick. Here's our analysis of the trade (updating as more information becomes available). 

by Royce Young

There has always been a very specific ideology for Sam Presti in Oklahoma City. Build a group of young players that can grow and develop together. It started in 2007 when he took Kevin Durant No. 2 overall and acquired the fifth pick Jeff Green for Ray Allen. From there, the pieces started to fit.

And this Thunder team jumped way ahead of schedule, winning 50 games last season. Because of that, the slow development process sped up. There was an obvious opportunity to win now, and while the existing team was definitely good, there was always something missing.

Most of that centered around Green and his starting power forward spot. There always appeared to just be something missing there. He was undersized, didn't fit well next to Nenad Krstic and lacked on the glass and the defensive end. He could hit big shots and make big plays, but is was always clear that something wasn't right.

So Presti put his finger on the big red button and finally pushed it. He sent Jeff Green and Krstic to Boston for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson.

A bittersweet say for Thunder fans as Green was a clear fan favorite. He was always close with teammates Kevin Durant, James Harden and Russell Westbrook. He was always seen as one of the core members of this group. But in the world where what counts is wins and losses, not how much fun you have and how well you get along off the court, it was a deal that had to be done.

The Thunder already was uncertain about Green's future, choosing not to sign him to an extension earlier in the season. He was set to become a restricted free agent this summer and even there, he was likely to get an offer that would be out of the Thunder's comfort zone.

While Perkins is also an unrestricted free agent, he fits what OKC would be willing to pay for. The Thunder tried to lock down a defensive-minded center two years ago when they traded for Tyson Chandler. But that deal was rescinded because of Chandler's physical and it put OKC back to work finding that help inside.

But what the Thunder did here was make a move for the now, finally. At the same time though, it doesn't jeopardize the future in any way. Green wasn't a sure thing in OKC anyway, and now Perkins gets a two month audition to earn a contract with the Thunder. OKC has improved itself against the beastly interiors of Los Angeles and Dallas and now can match up with anyone.

It came at a cost of sending out one of the city's favorite players and a close friend and teammate with Durant, Westbrook and Harden, but it had to be done. At some point, you've got to win. And the Thunder's trying to do it now. 

by Matt Moore

This is going to go down as more about what Boston surrendered rather than what they got. They did not get an elite player back, so trading the franchise starting center who helped them win a championship and nearly a second had he not suffered a severe injury is going to raise a lot of voices in Beantown. The Celtics have always made it clear they are about winning championships at any cost.  They love the members of their organization, but this is a business, and their business is staying on top for as long as the Big 3's window is open. Something convinced them that Perkins was no longer able to lead them to a championship. So they flipped him and Robinson for what they considered their biggest need: a wing scorer. That he can serve as a stretch four, which is a considerable weakness to them as currently constructed, is a bonus. Green represents an odd representation: the move to win now, and to set themselves up for the future. 

Green is an RFA this summer, meaning they can decide whether or not to sign him based on whether he helps them win a championship or not. Krstic, on the other hand, is an expiring contract. Should they renounce both Green and Krstic, that's close to $10 million they're freeing up in the event of a dramatically lowered CBA, or if they feel the need to retool to go at a championship once more. If both help them win a second title with the Big 3, they can easily re-sign both to keep them in town. 

But at the end of the day, the Celtics surrendered Kendrick Perkins. Perk! The big man! The biggest reason that Boston was able to match up with Dwight Howard.  Now they'll be turning to a very old core of Shaquille O'Neal, Jermaine O'Neal, and Krstic to try and combat Howard. That's a risky proposition. The Celtics do not lack for confidence. They must feel they can overcome the Heat, the Magic, and the Bulls without their starting center. Either that, or his knee was enough of an issue to force them to trade him.

Perkins only came back about a month ago from serious knee surgery that kept him out of the Finals' Game 7 last season. He has looked good at times but struggled in others. Tuesday night against the Warriors he tweaked the knee and did not return, limping off the floor. Two days later, he's traded to Oklahoma City. The Celtics may have felt they could not risk him going down to injury again, with how much their team depended on him. So they pulled in the taller, bigger, Krstic, who has a nice mid-range shot Perkins does not, and acquired a stretch four. 

Stretch fours have long disrupted the Celtics' defensive schemes, with players like Chris Bosh, Rashard Lewis, and LaMarcus Aldridge hurting them with their ability to hit from the mid-range, while Boston's defenders shade to the paint. Green can step out and defend those players, and also provides them a young, athletic option who can hit from the perimeter. Green's a gamble, though.

One element that's likely in play here is the Celtics' pushing for a player soon to be bought out. The most obvious target is Troy Murphy, traded to the Warriors from the Nets during their acquisition of Deron Williams in a separate deal. Murphy is expected to be bought out of his contract, and would provide a versatile big for the Celtics. If not Murphy, then another candidate could take his place, considering how much space the Celtics have cleared with this and other moves. 

This whole trade is a gamble, and it's not sure why the Celtics would risk their continuity after the year they've had. But one thing's for certain. Things have gotten even more interesting in the already wild Eastern Conference.

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Since: Dec 29, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 8:14 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

I am a fan of Miami and the Thunder and am thrilled with the trade. The Thunder got Kendrick Perkins and Nazr Mohammed today. This fills the missing link of inside toughness and length to seriously contend with the Lakers, Spurs, and Mavericks. Nate Robinson should also provide quality minutes to spell Russell Westbrook. Serge Ibaka can get some serious minutes at the four spot. Jeff Green was/is a quality player and a good guy, but these pieces fit better. Sam Presti continually does more with less than any other GM in the NBA. 

Why the Celtics would change the starting five that has never lost a series that all of the started every game is beyond me? If you have a chance to win another NBA Championship why mess with a proven combination? I read all of the post from Celtic fans and if I were a Celtic fan I would hope for the best and try to put a positve spin on it as well. I just don't see it, but I am not at practice every day like Danny Ainge or are any of us privy to Perkins medical reports.

As for playing the Heat, the Heat continue to get better and the Celtics diminished their main advantage over them by trading length and toughness. Not to mention, Kendrick Perkins is a huge reason they have been able to deal with Dwight Howard and the Orlando Magic so effectively.

Since: Feb 24, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2011 8:14 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Things change, Perk in game 7 was a key matchup. Perk now on a surgically repaired knee and a recently injured other knee is no longer a key part of this team. Besides we wont have to worry about meeting the Lakers in the finals this year anyway.

Since: Jul 17, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 8:13 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

And to whoever's cryin bout Ron-Ron steppin up in game 7....ummm, that's what Champs do in practically any sport.  Have someone besides a superstar step up.  Btw....if the Celtics were good enough to stop the Lakers from winning 3 games before that, game 7 never woulda happened.

Since: Jul 17, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 8:08 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

So this is what it boils down to......the same fans who said "oh, if only we had Perkins in game 7 last year we'd have won", are now saying he isn't needed and wasn't gonna sign.  Oh that's right, they got Shaq, Jermaine, and Krstic now.  And I guess their thinking Jeff Green is the 2nd coming of Big Game James Worthy and gonna give them 40+ minutes a night of clutch basketball come playoff time.....  HaHaHa!!!     

Since: May 9, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2011 8:08 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

HAHAHAHA!!! I thought Perkins was the magical missing piece to the Celtics beating the Lakers. NOT!!!

Since: Feb 24, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2011 8:04 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

This deal gives me an eerily familiar feeling when like most Celts fans I wast crestfallen to find that the lottery system had betrayed us once again and Oden or Durant were not coming to the hub. Ainge, a favorite player of mine from the 80"s, now in charge of the Celts made an inexplicable deal for a vertan like Ray Allen to place alongside an increasingly agitated Paul Pierce. This deal meant no sense other than upper management hoping that the star power would put butts in seats and raise revenue for the franchise. However, Mr. Ainge who had been part of a clever deal as a player himself in his career by the late great Red Auerbach had other plans. Enter the Big Ticket and an overlooked draftee in Rondo and suddenly a new Celts dynasty was born. In other words Celts fans, be patient Danny aint done yet. Besides Perk as popular a player as he was....was severely limited as a player and injury prone as well. Perk before the acquisition of Allen, Garnett and Rondo was a nobody destined to live a life of mediocrity like most of the flotsam and jetsam that make up the majority of the NBA. Besides Green will be an excellent complimentary player in the future when it truly becomes Rondo's team and the likes of Pierce, Allen and Garnett are retired and the Celts are still a relevant team in the East. Danny seems hell bent on not repeating the mistakes of his predecessors that hung on to the original Big Three too long and caused the franchise that is unparralleled as NBA royalty to spiral downward to the basement of the league for the entire decade of the 90's. Danny will find the appropriate complimentary players to add to the roster via buyout or development league this year and banner number 18 will be raised in Boston.

Since: Jun 3, 2010
Posted on: February 24, 2011 8:03 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

I read the article and read the posts and cannot believe that the C's made this trade?!? After the Lakers beat the C's is game 7, all I heard is that the Lakers would not have one if Perkins was healthy. Heck, even Doc Rovers said after losing game 7 that nobody has beaten them when they had all their 5 starters, implying that if Perkins was healthy, they would not have lost. I was shocked that they gave up one of their "starters," but, I can tell you that as a Laker fan I am obviously happy about this trade as Perkins, while undersized as a true center, is a real pain in the rear. The guy is a tenacious defender and might be the toughest guy in the NBA and the C's trade him for 3 point shooting center and a power forward who does not rebound. They do this while their 2 O'Neal centers are injured. Perkins did not back down to any center in the league and borught toughness to the table that the C's built their reputation around. I, for one, am glad that the C's pulled the trigger on this, as a Laker fan.

Since: Dec 27, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2011 8:01 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

PeeTown's fall to mediocrity is beginning...

Since: Aug 4, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2011 7:59 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Someone got a bad deal in this transaction. I am not sure the Celtics helped themselves in this trade. I really don’t understand why the trade was made a center and PF for a guard and center.

If the Celtics are now gonna depend on Shaq,  Jermaine  and Krstic that might be a big  mistake. Shaq is not nearly as dominate as he once was and not as intimidating.

Of course me being a Laker fan it really does not bother me that much, however, the competition would not be nearly as great without Perkins holding down the middle. Bynum will have a field day against these 3 guys. He has played against Krstic, so he know him and his tendencies.

I don’t know if this trade would take the Celtics completely out of the playoffs or going deep into the playoffs, I do know it lessens their chance of getting to the playoffs and making a deep run into them. 


Since: Feb 24, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2011 7:47 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

You guys are funny!  It doesn't boil down to the C's putting their hope on Rasheed and whether he comes back or not.  Shoot, with Semi, Luke and Marguis gone don't you see Ainge is poised to pick up 3 players to fill the void.  Maybe you'll change your mind once the free agents start signing because they " want to play for a team that has a very high possiblility of winning a championship"!!!  Stay tuned as this is just getting started. 

Oh and Laker fans know this, it was Ron Artest who had a career night in game 7 to make the difference in the game for win by LA.... nothing else! 

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