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: Oct 7, 2009
Posted on: February 27, 2011 7:04 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

   Boy it gets me that the Celts would have won it all last year if Perk had not been hurt. The last two years combined with THIS YEAR's championship would have beem a HOF run. Go Celtics.

Since: Nov 5, 2010
Posted on: February 25, 2011 4:32 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Great analysis, but chemistry on the fly doesn't bring championships.  

Since: Nov 9, 2008
Posted on: February 25, 2011 2:40 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

What a gamble, Ainge has caught a case of ISIAHITIS. Why would you trade away one of your biggest assests - size. This weakens your frontline ability to match up with the Lakers. If you neutralize Bynum, Gasol and Odom, you can beat the Lakers. Who cares about signing Perkins to a long term deal, you have to win and win NOW, your window of oppurtunity is closing fast  

Since: Jan 31, 2009
Posted on: February 25, 2011 12:56 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.
youk, you're right-you won't be meeing the Lakers in the Finals. because of this trade the C's won't be meeting anyone in the finals. their greatest advantage has just been removed.

Since: Feb 8, 2011
Posted on: February 25, 2011 11:01 am

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

My opinion: The Celtics took a few steps down, Kristic sucks ass, Green can score but cant rebound or play much defense, the reason he was so good in OKC was because of Durant. As far as the Thunder: Perkins can play some defense and rebound but how long can he stay healthy?

Since: Jul 17, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 10:39 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Hey Rod, this isn't your daughter's 3rd grade youth league hoops team.  It's the pros bud, and yes, being champions of your sport is the only thing that matters.  What good did the Steelers "organization" do for them in the bowl?  How bout that Celtics tradition in the Finals?  Or that Yankee mystique in the playoffs last year?  And the Habs....good run from the 8 hole last year, but alas, the ghosts did not bring a Cup.  Next season (if they have one), is anyone really gonna look at the schedule and say, "Wow!  The Super Bowl XLIII champion Steelers are coming to town Week 1!  That's a great organization!"  Or is someone more likely to say "Wow!  The defending champion Packers are coming to our house Week 1!"........  

Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 10:39 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Two reasons Boston pulled this particular trigger:  first, they knew they weren't gonna land Battier, and Green is a versatile guy who can play the 2, 3 or even 4, if needed in a small lineup, and has great offensive skills; and seond, Perkins already said he intended to test the free agent market, and they way teams get stupid, someone would have offered him way more than he is worth, and Boston would have gottedn nothing.  As Berger stated, it was business, and smart business at that.

Since: Mar 30, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 10:35 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Matt Moore, not sure who you are talking about when you describe a "franchise" center, and imply same center "led" Boston to their title.  Perkins is a great defender, true, but I don't think his injury was what hobbled Boston lest year.

Since: Sep 8, 2007
Posted on: February 24, 2011 10:19 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

As a Thunder fanatic, I am sad to hear of this trade. Krstic was good enough, and Ibaka was able to be a pseudo center as well as forward to help fill in the gaps Krstic left open, and on the court together, it was a nice fit. Sad to lose Green, too. To you guys up in the Bay State, you are getting two great players plus the first round pick as you obviously know, but I think Krstic is under rated and Green was just coming into his own. It seems Perkins is always hurt, and Nate Robinson is a nice addition, but a PG is not what we needed because Maynor is a quality backup to Westbrook anyway... My concern is when Perkins is hurt again, all of our hopes will be pinned inside on Ibaka and Aldrich, who we just called up from Tulsa, and neither guy has enough experience when it counts (yet). However, in the end, my motto is "In Sam Presti I Trust" because he has made a plethora of solid moves and draft choices for years, both with the Thunder and Spurs, so I'm going to assume he knows far more than I do (easy assumption). I still don't like the move, though. The Thunder's team chemistry was one of the best parts of our team, in addition to our youth (and some guy named Kevin Durant), and now the chemistry has been changed. If it's not broken, don't fix it is my view. Obviously if Perkins is motivated by signing a long-term contract, we'll hopefully get some solid production out of him that will be largely injury free, so hopefully that will be the case. I agree with UTJunky. There were better trades out there in my view. Go Thunder!

Since: Sep 21, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2011 10:12 pm

Trade Deadline: Celtics trade Perkins to OKC

Titletown I see your argument but I just don't see why they made this move it made more sense to trade with a crumby team for a center and draft pick. That way they could have at least drafted a young forward and helped build him up. Rather then getting an injury prone stop gap, now if he works out for them then that's cool but idk it doesn't really help us in the long run.

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