Kendrick Perkins

Every year on NBA Trade Deadline Day, I’m reminded that we really don’t know much at all about the trade conversations that happen between GMs. The exception, of course, is Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports, who knows way too much and actually frightens me a little. More than any other year in memory, I found myself flabbergasted and gobsmacked by the number of trades that seemed to come completely out of nowhere in the days and hours leading up to today’s 3pm ET deadline.

If I was to rank today’s trades on an “OMG Scale” from 1 to 10 — and that’s exactly what I’m going to do — the news that the Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic ranks as an 8.7. (A LeBron trade would be a 10, the D-Will trade was an 8 and the Carmelo trade was a 1.) It’s not just that nobody saw it coming, it’s that it seems to make so little sense for the Celtics.

I’ve wrapped my shell-shocked mind around why Celtics general manager Danny Ainge pulled the trigger on this deal — Perkins is an unrestricted free agent after this season and Ainge must have concluded that he would be unable or unwilling to sign him for the amount of money Perkins wanted. But still! It’s become conventional wisdom that Perkins was a key part of the Celtics’ core of defense and toughness. How often does a championship-contending team that prides itself on those two tenets trade its defensive-minded starting center?

The trade is a landscape changer in both conferences because a healthy Perkins gives the Thunder a defensive backbone to complement the scoring prowess of Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Perkins also gives them an answer for Andrew Bynum, Pau Gasol, Tim Duncan and Tyson Chandler in the Western Conference playoffs. His acquisition has to be viewed as a stunning success for Thunder GM Sam Presti.

As for the Celtics, we can only assume that Ainge believes that his team can go all the way this season without Perkins. Their championship window is small, and they have the best record in the East despite the fact that Perkins has only played 313 minutes this season. Celtics fans will not be forgiving if their team fails to win it all this season — but on the flipside, if the Celtics can achieve ultimate success, Ainge will look like a genius.  Regardless of the fact that Perkins’ ex-teammates are understandably furious about the move, even they will eventually have to admit that Ainge’s cojones are daunting.

OK, let’s plow through the rest of today’s reported trades, post-haste.

Bobcats trade Gerald Wallace to Trail Blazers for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham and two first rounders

Phenomenal acquisition for the Blazers, obviously. Wallace should fit in nicely as the second banana to LaMarcus Aldridge in Portland. Przybilla is a $7.5 million expiring contract and Cunningham is essentially filler. It’s basically a Charlotte salary dump for those two picks. OMG Scale: 7.1

Rockets trade Aaron Brooks to Suns for Goran Dragic and a lottery-protected first round pick

So much for Dragic being anointed as Steve Nash’s replacement in Phoenix. Both players have fallen off after impressive showings last season and they could both benefit from a fresh start. OMG Scale: 5.9

Rockets trade Shane Battier to Grizzlies for Hasheem Thabeet and a first round pick

Well, it’s official — the Grizzlies really, really screwed up that second overall pick in the 2009 draft. You can’t teach height and sometimes you can’t unteach “suck”. I’m guessing the Rockets value the pick more than Thabeet. OMG Scale: 4.8

Celtics trade Semih Erdan and Luke Harangody to Cavaliers for a second round pick

The Cavs acquire a semi-promising, legitimate center with decent offensive skill in Erden and a guy who probably isn’t  cut out for this league in Harangody. They’re both second rounders on rookie contracts, so the Celtics get minimal savings out of this. OMG Scale: 4.2

Bobcats trade Nazr Mohammed to Thunder for Morris Peterson and D.J. White

Mohammed will be a serviceable starting center for OKC while Perkins heals his strained MCL and he’ll be one of the better backups at his position when Perkins returns. Both big man additions make the Thunder’s frontcourt significantly manlier. D.J. White is a tough, strong big man who can rebound and block a few shots while Mo-Pete will likely witness the end of his NBA career when his $6.6 million contract expires at the end of the season. OMG Scale: 2.8

Celtics trade Marquis Daniels to the Kings for cash money

I have no opinion about this move, but I’d like to point out that all these transactions mean that the Celtics will only have eight players in their lineup (Garnett, Pierce, Allen, Rondo, Davis, West, Wafer, Bradley) and just two legitimate big men when they face the Nuggets tonight. Bradley has played just 72 NBA minutes before tonight, so you know he’s secretly excited. OMG Scale: Meh

Comments (21)

  1. Shockwaves here in Boston I feel like I just threw up in my mouth… haven’t talked to one person that likes these moves and bringing in a post buyout Troy Murphy is not the answer or whatever that snake Ainge has planned. Just a sad, sad day we lost one of our own, Perk embodied everything I loved about this Celtics era, a true warrior… it’s just so frustrating. I like Green a lot as a player but he’s a FA too and will probably sign for more than Perk anyway this summer so I doubt they keep him long term… just doesn’t make sense. I hope Wyc fires Ainge I’m done with him, I give McHale more credit for the KG deal anyway and the Ray Allen move was a no brainer, Ainge just can’t be trusted and has now lost credibility with all of his veterans. Antoine Walker said it best in ’03 Ainge really is a slippery snake and needs to go fuck himself.

  2. Do we know that they have West tonight? I’m kind of looking forward to tuning in and watching 7guys try to play an NBA game.

  3. Latest links madness from Searching for Slava. OK, ducking now! http://tinyurl.com/47vnodu

  4. @ adam

    if you watched don nelsons GSW you would see a lot of games in which they played like 6 guys

  5. West is in tonight… would like to see Avery Bradley get some run we’ll see I guess…

  6. The Kings also got a conditional 2017 second-rounder from the Celtics.
    No, seriously.

  7. I am so mad right now. How could the Celts trade away Perkins? What were they thinking? The Celtic’s window, as everyone knows has been closing. This year is their chance at a championship. And Ainge is thinking about troubles signing him next year? How did Boston beat Orlando last year? Oh yeah, they had enough bulky, defensive minded-bigs to able to contain Dwight Howard. What is one reason they lost to the Lakers? Perkins got injured. The Celtics cannot beat the Lakers now. They can’t. And they definitely could before this trade. NENAD KRSTIC?????? Jeff Green is good and young, but he’s not a defensive center. Oh, and we also give up Nate Robinson? what??? He has more potential to be a playoff spark than Nenad Krstic, that’s for sure.

    Holy crap. My world just came tumbling down. The Celtics were easily in the top three in terms of teams who could win the championship, now, The Heat, The Lakers, and the Spurs are all infintetly better suited for playoff basketball.

    Don’t expect Shaq to play any defense. Wow. Way to just slap Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett, Paul PIerce, and Rondo in the face. They could have spent this season building their legacy and winnign another championship before they all have to retire. Now? Well…

  8. as a bobcats fan im actually excited that we are looking towards the future instead of just trying to pathetically squeak into the playoffs again this year… im hoping dj white can really develop to be a solid backup…. idk why they decided to drop derrick brown though, that didnt seem necessary.

  9. One more thing about the Celtics trade. It doesn’t make sense to trade Perkins, but it makes even less sense to trade him to a playoff team that, before the trade, were borderline contenders. Wouldn’t it be ironic if the Thunder out-muscle the Celtics in the championship? (an unlikely scenario in the first place, I know)

  10. As a Lakers fan i was a little let down that they didn’t make even a minor move, but seeing what the Celtics did today all i can think is http://i776.photobucket.com/albums/yy45/Hana87/Everything_went_better_than_expected.png hahaha

  11. As a Blazers fan, this has been an interesting day. Sean Marks went with Przybilla and Cunningham, which means all of Portland’s functioning Centers are headed out the door. I’m excited about Wallace, but his injury history is a concern (especially to a Portlander).

    I don’t know how much Charlotte fans know about Dante Cunningham, but I’m very sad to see him go. DC plays smart basketball and has a lot of potential. I wouldn’t be surprised to see him flourish in a situation where he can get some serious minutes and touches. He sets a killer pick, has a smooth jumper, will lay down some vicious blocks, and can get up and jam. Recently, we’ve seen him put it on the deck a little bit and I could see him stretching that jumper out to the 3pt line. You’re gonna like this kid. Here’s a profile a local paper wrote about him…

    http://www.columbian.com/news/2011/feb/14/dante-unmasked/

  12. @ illmatic: I don’t know man, now we’ll have to deal with a Kendrick Perkins surrounded by fast, athletic guys like Durant and Westbrook, could be very tough.

    I think the Celtics just blew their chances of winning the title. They gave up two great bench players, Nate and Marquis, their heart and soul, Perkins, for Krstic and Green, two totally shitty players.

    Nick L, my condolences.

  13. @ Jules: Oh no doubt that’s in the back of my mind but for right now I’m kinda enjoying for the moment.

  14. OK, losing Perk is bad… Really Bad…

    But acquiring Green gives them the great reserve defensive wing they craved….
    The O’Neals can do OK, even if they’re not Perk…. They didn’t lose because they didn’t have Perk last year, they lost because they didn’t have a center, because Perk was injured… His injuries are a concern too, and if he’s out, he doesn’t bring more than Krstic…

    It sure is a page-turning moment for the Cs, but I’ll love to see how Perk does somewhere else. I’m not sure he won’t command more money than Green.

    They don’t really need Nate or Marquis if West and Green can play… They still have an OK bench when all healthy.

    What I’m more intrigued about is: why have 3 open roster spots?
    I mean Sheed/Murphy, OK…

    Then what? Hope Bibby gets cut by the Wiz?

    There will be some buyouts, but 3 roster spots seems weird if Ainge didn’t have a plan.
    Fans are always too quick to overreact imo, let’s just wait a lil….

    I’m more shocked by the no-move from orlando.

  15. Good article representing a few thoughts up in here: http://www.celticsblog.com/2011/2/25/2013952/dannys-folly

    As a Celtics fan, I’d agree with the above, that Ainge plainly destroyed the incredible chemistry the team had going and which it needed to win the title. I am bitterly pissed. The lockout can come.

  16. Either Ainge knows something we dont know for him to trigger that bonehead move or maybe he’s just simply a bonehead. But remember, he did somehow manage to put together Garnett, Allen, Pierce and Rondo all on the same team. I bet people were more shocked on how he pulled that number off.

    Also, I wonder what a Perkin’s family photo looks like aka family death stare *shudder

  17. Another C’s fan really hurt by sending Perkins out, but I don’t think the sky is falling.

    -Perk has injury concers this year, and turned down the best xtension Angie could offer
    -Tight games down to the wire, Doc usually goes with Davis over Perk
    -C’s dominated the first half of the season w/out Perk
    -Green allows them a greater variety of size linups
    -The C’s Defensive system > any one player not named KG. Perk was great, but O’Neils/Kestric will suit
    -Still have a chance to sign Dalembert, Murphy, Sheed
    -Green off the bench is just as horrible or amazing as nate (both inconsistent), only he fills a need at the 3

    Again, I understand the Chemistry upset here, but this group is hardly one to spend the reast of the season griping. They are top shelf professionals and will dry their eyes before the weekend. Really tough loss, but an unerstandable risk once you get past the emotion.

  18. @ Michael C:

    “Perk was great, but ONeils/Krstic will suit (Defensively).”

    This is where most of us disagree with you. the Oneal’s cannot play defense anymore, and it was questionable whether they ever could. The truth is that this team has success in the playoffs because of it’s defense. Perkins is a young, big defensive specialist. Krstic is a purely offensive option and Shaq is about to be 39. Playoff basketball, especially in the East, is about great half-court defense.

    Also, in response to this: ” C’s dominated the first half of the season w/out Perk.”
    Yeah, but playoff basketball and regular season basketball are two different things. Perkins has beena n integral part of their previous post-season success.

    Our reasoning is not as emotional as you think. He is the heart of the defense, and without him we have no realistic chance of guarding Howard, Bynum, Gasol, etc…in the playoffs.

  19. I get that the Celtics just lowered their chances of winning this year, but what was Ainge supposed to do? Perkins is one of the best Centers in the league (probably the second best defensive 5 after Howard), and he was going to lose him for nothing. The Celtics are in win-now mode, but you can’t lose elite players for nothing unless you want to be a poster child like Colangelo or Gilbert. The Celtics still have a decent chance of winning it all this year (JO more than Shaq needs to be somewhat healthy imo), and they got back some value for Perkins.

    Ainge was in a very tough spot and it’s a balancing act as a GM. I’m surprised because I figured they were in “win now” mode at all costs, but I guess not.

  20. @ Andrew

    I totally hear you on the missing our heart on D. Perk’s first game back this year was a totally “ahhhhh, that’s what’s been missing” moment for me.

    That said, as a C’s fan, i refuse to hang my head and assume we now have no shot at a title. Perk is important, but this team is loaded with talent that can work together to fill the void left by Perks.

    Also, I agree that Shaq & co don’t even sniff at Perk’s D. But I disagree that those 3 big bodies can’t fill up the lane enough for KG and the rest of the guys to work. The defensive system Doc and Tibbs created allows sub-par defenders to look much better. None of these guys handle the pick and roll like Perk can, but be sure they can still bruise, push people around, and clean the denfensive glass.

    Gotta have hope. Keep ya heads, up C’s fans.

  21. Yeah, seriously, what the hell was up with trading Perkins? That’s one of the dumbest moves, but since I don’t live in Boston I can’t say I’m not more excited to watch them play now.

    But I like getting Wallace on the Blazers. That’ll help out a ton.

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