In the surprise of the day, Boston traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic.Green is certainly a talented player, and the Celtics wanted another wing scorer, but at what cost?
Perkins was the Celtics’ enforcer, their banger down low who was well aware of his role on a team of superstars. Perkins was the guy that did the dirty work and that guarded the Celtics’ paint with tenacity. He was a key to their defence, and by getting rid of him, Boston punted its greatest advantage over the Miami Heat.
One theory about why Boston dealt Perkins is that they’ll be unable to re-sign Perkins this summer thanks to all the money they have tied up in Rajon Rondo, Kevin Garnett, Ray Allen, and Paul Pierce. It’s understandable that Boston wouldn’t want to lose Perkins for nothing, but this is a situation where Boston should have bit the bullet and let Perkins play out the season. Perkins was instrumental for the Celtics’ hopes fora playoff run, so it hardly makes sense for Boston to look into the future at the expense of the present, when the Celtics had a strong chance to win the NBA Championship.
Boston may end up with Troy Murphy as Perkins’ replacement, but he’s hardly the same type of player. Instead, Boston will be forced to rely on the cranky old bodies of Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal, along with Krstic, Kevin Garnett and Glen Davis, on the front line. That’s still not a bad group, but the uncertainty surrounding the Celtics veterans isn’t something the team should have allowed to exist. With Perkins, Boston had one of the best and deepest big-man units in the league. Now, that’s a major question mark.
If Boston still wins the NBA Title, this could go down as a good deal. Boston will have added a young piece in Jeff Green to join Rondo as the future leaders of the Celtics. The Celtics also picked up the Clippers’ first round pick next year, which could be helpful for rebuilding the team in the post-KG/Allen/Pierce era.
But if Boston is exposed in the paint during the playoffs by big men, GM Danny Ainge will have no one to blame but himself.
Business Insider Emails & Alerts
Site highlights each day to your inbox.