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: Jan 19, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2011 7:04 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

I like the trade for Boston. Bringing in a young forward in Jeff Green will benefit them in the long-term. We all know they are getting a little old at that position.

Since: Jun 12, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:57 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Panic time in Boston...I love thing this does is it makes  OKC more formidable...Green is a dime a dozen forward who benefitted from Durant.  The Celts will miss Perkins dearly even though they have the Big Old Fatty Shaq.

Since: Aug 31, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:36 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Does anybody else hate that Ken Berger always has to stick his name in everything.  It's always "Ken Berger has confirmed" this or that.  Just report it and stop promoting yourself!
The poster below must be a fantasy bball guy--perk's value is in match-ups, not stats.  When the celtics lost game 7 last year with perk out, they got abused down low.  The celtics will miss him most in series against the magic and the lakers.  However, the magic don't look like they will challenge anybody this year, and Krstic and hopefully troy murphy should be able to hold they're own, and, actually, come with less risk than perk.  Kendrick has always battled injuries, and now seems to have balky knees.  The celtics will miss perk, but the poster below is right in that he will likely demand a larger salary than the celtics can pay.  I would be willing to bet he doesn't get 12-14 mill, though, especially with those knees.
The real value for the celtics is that they were able to get a piece for the future (not to mention a 1st rounder) besides rondo that will also be a significant addition now.  Jeff green has the potential to become a star (certainly not guaranteed), and he will provide spark off the bench, arguably more than we have had in recent times, in addition to providing minutes-relief for paul pierce which will also translate into minutes relief for ray allen.  Except in certain matchup situations or when glen davis plays the 5, he will likely play almost entirely as a 3, as he and baby are the two best bench players at this point.

Since: Jan 23, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:23 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Didn't the Celtics kick the Heat's  a$$ twice without Perkins  HMMMMM !!!!!!!!!

Since: Jan 29, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:22 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

do the celtics get a first round pick too? if not then this is a bad deal IMO.

Since: Jul 24, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:21 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Achilles heel for the Celtics the past 3 years.....PERKINS. Injured, rebounds are way down, horrible free throw shooter, and slow as a snail, despite a body banger. In big games when offensive boards are needed, Perk has been non existent. Celts are much better off for all you Miami Heat fans that think you just won the title. Plus Perk wants an MVP type income.    

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:14 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Great Trade, for the Miami Heat.  No big defensive stopper down low for the Celtics.  Green is not a good matchup for Bosh.  Heat have just made the finals!   Not sure why they made the trade unless they absolutely feel that Perkins is not going to be effective after his knee injury.  The two O'Neil's are both finished.  Great trade for Miami.

They didn't have Perk when the Heat lost to them three times.  Oneil is just resting.  Jermaine may be done but Rasheed Wallace will come back within a week or two.  He will get inside Bosh's head come playoff time.  Perkins strained the MCL in the game versus Golden State.  Perkins had a bad shoulder.  He is always hurt.  Tough? YES but always hurt. He breaks down...They get a healthy 7 footer to do exactly what he did.  Score 7 points a game grab 7 rebs a game in about 25 minutes plus Green who is a great player off the bench to replace Daniels...They are the same exact team with a healthy 7 footer instead of a hurt 6'10 center.

Since: Sep 17, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2011 6:06 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

If you are in Celtic land and read the papers around here you knew that Perk was going to demand a large large contract next season as a free agent.  His knee is stil bothering him and he tweaked his mcl on the other two nights ago in Oklahoma.  I love Perk but he is not worth what he is going to demand on the free agent market.  He has zero range.  Limited post moves.  He can defend but is an average rebounder at best.  A power forward needs at least a range of 10-15 feet.  He does not have this.  He has never averaged over 10 points per game...So you are going to pay a guy 12-14 mill for 10 points per and 6-8 rebounds per game.  The 7 footer they got in return does this.  Yes he is tough as nails and does a nice job defensively but....Jeff Green is a nice player but this is not a move that makes me happy or sad...It is basically a stand pat move to get a cost efficient guy in Green at a reasonable price next year and free up cap space to make a run at Howard in 2012...Ainge has done a nice job as Gm of the Celtics and trust me Perk is not an all star. 10 points per and 8 rebounds a game...

Since: Apr 19, 2008
Posted on: February 24, 2011 5:49 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Great Trade, for the Miami Heat.  No big defensive stopper down low for the Celtics.  Green is not a good matchup for Bosh.  Heat have just made the finals!   Not sure why they made the trade unless they absolutely feel that Perkins is not going to be effective after his knee injury.  The two O'Neil's are both finished.  Great trade for Miami.

Since: Dec 10, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2011 5:44 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Interesting trade. I think it points toward a need for the Celts to get a young potential star, a matchup with Miami and a belief that Boston's post players can get it done this year. Remember these old guys are being rested for the playoffs- they will all be there in post season. Celts see Miami as their biggest threat in the east and they have the horses inside to outplay Miami but need to get better at the 3/4 to take them out.

I think it also points towards a desire to go after Howard and other young stars over the next few years. The big three are near the endbut lets say Paul and Howard would allow the Celts to contend through this decade.

Perk's knee may be suspect too.

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