Kendrick Perkins absence from the Boston Celtics' roster this deadline day was met with a prompt "What the hell?" at first. Then I began to think...
Doc Rivers is a good head coach with an NBA Championship to his name?....Yes.
Danny Ainge is a highly respected director of Basketball operations?...Yes.
The Celtics have the most NBA Titles in NBA Franchise history with 17...Yes.
So they know what they are doing right?...Kendrick Perkins was not the best player on the Celtics' roster but he was the most important to their chances at winning a title this season. Perkins is one of the best young centers in the league who specializes in defending the paint.
Perkins' presence was missed significantly during game 7 of the NBA finals last season when Pau Gasol scored 19 points and had 18 rebounds getting to the line 13 times. Gasol had 9 offensive rebounds in that game which is startling. Many people believe, this blogger being one, that had Perkins been healthy for that game the Lakers would not be going for their third consecutive NBA Title.
That is why it came as such a shock when Perkins was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder, along with Nate Robinson, for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic.
Green played small forward for the Thunder for three seasons averaging 14 points per game. He is a solid young player but won't start for the Celtics who have Paul Pierce as their star small forward. The acquisition of Green has left a huge gaping hole in the center of Boston's defense. They must now rely on Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal or Nenad Krstic to defend the likes of Dwight Howard or Pau Gasol in the playoffs.
But we can trust the Celtics because of Doc, Ainge and their history can't we?
No! Not at all! I repeat; What the hell?
This is probably the worst trade I've seen since Denver traded Peyton Hillis to the Browns for Brady Quinn.
Doc Rivers previously stated that the big three were owed a fair chance to win the Larry O'Brien trophy with a healthy roster. The big three(Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce) have all been healthy throughout this season but realistically their chances at winning the title this season are no longer fair. Relying on a fossil like Shaq and limited role player like Jermaine O'Neal is just an absurd decision.
The reasons to trade Perkins; his reluctance to sign a new contract and the fact they have had a good season so far while he was injured, do not outweigh the reasons to keep him.
Perkins has landed in Oklahoma City and instantly made them a contender in the West. Teaming up with superstars like Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant as well as young emerging stars James Harden and Serge Ibaka, Perkins has landed in the perfect spot. Nate Robinson's move with Perkins also shouldn't be overlooked as he has the potential to put up big numbers on any given night.
The Celtics severely lost in this trade and they know it.
“It’s not even about a teammate,” said Kevin Garnett. “You feel like you lost a family member today. Tough day.”
Paul Pierce was obviously unhappy with the news as he elaborated at length, “It is definitely a blow when you lose a guy like Perk who’s been in playoff battles, been tested, gives us size and defense -- especially when you’re going against guys like Dwight Howard, Pau Gasol -- if we make it to the Finals and play the Lakers. Hopefully we can make up for it in other ways."
“I haven’t had a chance to assess [the trade],” Pierce added. “I hate to lose a guy, a teammate like Perk because he meant so much. And people don’t understand what chemistry is, from the bus to the plane, the locker room. It’s definitely blow there. it depends on how the other guys make the adjustment."
"I don’t know. You hope that Danny [Ainge] and Doc [Rivers] know what they’re doing. I mean, we put our trust in them, so it is what it is. We can’t use any excuses."
Trusting Ainge and Rivers is all that the Celtics' players can do because from the onset this trade appears like what Ray Allen describes it as "Jeff Green is young. He can play. He can help our bench production out. He’s got tremendous upside."
Green is a young player who will be on the bench, Perkins was a starter who gave you a shot at the NBA Championship.
A shot that has now been injected into the Thunder leaving a gaping hole in Boston.