Boston Celtics Trade Kendrick Perkins: Five Reasons Why the Move Helps the C's
With the trade deadline moving into its final hours, the Boston Celtics and President of Basketball Operations Danny Ainge were moving quickly to get deals done.
In the end, two deals were made with the Cleveland Cavaliers and Oklahoma City Thunder that would shock Celtics Nation.
Starting center Kendrick Perkins—a starter on the Championship team of 2008 with the C's—was the name that spoke the loudest of the four players dealt Thursday afternoon. Perkins was traded to the Oklahoma City Thunder early this afternoon.
Despite the displeased Celtics fans after today's events, join myself and B/R in going through the five reasons why Celtics fans shouldn't worry, as the moves today were beneficial for the Celtics—for both now and the future.
An Overview of the Trades
Up, up and away did Nate Robinson fly, but to his surprise he was no longer landing in Beantown.
After talking to the them throughout the morning, this was the final deal made with the Oklahoma City Thunder:
Later Thursday, the Celtics would go on to make yet another move, this time with the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Second Round Draft Pick in 2013 NBA Draft
5. Perkins Was Leaving Anyway
Since injuring his knee in Game Six of last year's NBA Finals, Perkins and the Celtics organization have tried numerous times to renegotiate his contract with the team.
In the last year of his contract, making an estimated $4.6 million, Perkins had to negotiate an extension in order to keep playing in Boston. Perkins has made it clear that he would sign for no more than a one-year extension, with the idea that he wishes to eventually test the free agent market for his value.
There were rumors going around in the first half of the season about how he may leave the Celtics, and within the rumors was the possibility that he would suit up with the other Big Three in South Beach.
Celtics fans and NBA fans around the league, keep the following in mind: Had the Celtics not made a move and kept Perkins for the season, it could have benefited the team this season. Yet if that were the case, he would have the option to, more than likely, test the free agent market.
Therefore, the C's in turn could not get any value for him.
In other words, regardless of whether or not he played in Boston this season, there was significant uncertainty as to whether or not he would even be back another season in a green uniform.
4. Delonte Still Exists
Although it seems he might have dropped from the face of the Earth, Delonte West is still a member of the Boston Celtics.
The 27-year-old point guard who has missed nearly the entire season is finally back in the rotation. In the win over the Golden State Warriors just two nights ago, West played his first 12 minutes of basketball since suffering the broken wrist injury at the end of November.
He has a plethora of playoff experience as a starting guard in the league and can score the basketball "craftily" and arguably more consistently than Nate Robinson. West also seldom turns the ball over and plays scrappy defense, which fits right into the C's system.
Losing Nate won't be too painful.
3. Making Moves for the Future
As President of Basketball Operation for the Boston Celtics, Danny Ainge has been one to make plenty of moves.
There are some great ones, and some not so great—but despite the criticism from many in Boston, these moves may not really be so bad.
Harangody is a tough cookie, but in the end he most likely won't be any sort of superstar in the league. Erden is a player that has an immense level of potential and has time and time again come up short.
This season, Erden has 4.1 points per game and 2.9 rebounds in slightly less than 15 minutes a contest. This month he is posting just under three points per game and less than one rebound a contest. Granted he may not play many minutes, but he still hasn't been able to consistently prove his worth.
In exchange, the Celtics receive a second-round draft choice in the 2013 NBA Draft from the Cleveland Cavaliers. At first glance it's as if they gave away two big men, when in reality the move may serve well in the future.
Having a Cavaliers' second-round pick in 2013 may be no higher than a 40th pick overall. It would also free cap space in the future.
Bringing in Jeff Green from Oklahoma City also has its benefits. He's already a proven starter in the league and he is 24 years of age. This season, he has posted 15.2 points per game and grabbed 5.6 boards a game in 37 minutes. Not to mention he was the Celtics fifth overall draft pick in 2007.
Don't point fingers at Danny Ainge just yet; the moves may very well benefit the Celtics in the long haul.
2. Paul Pierce Can Stay Fresh
The trading of Perkins may have bothered Paul Pierce, as well as any of the Celtics players.
Perkins was a competitor whose effort was appreciated every night by the other four starters, as his paint play made life that much easier for the offense to run and the defense to hold strong.
Yet, at the end of the day, the truth hurts "The Truth." Pierce is aging, and what he needs more than anything is rest. As mentioned in a recent piece of mine on trading for Anthony Parker (which of course didn't happen), Pierce has played 40 minutes twice in the last five games and in the other two, he played 35 minutes.
With the final stretch of the season coming up, Pierce needs to get his rest. Without Marquis Daniels, a player like Jeff Green makes Pierce's life easier and allows head coach Doc Rivers to not pull out anymore hair—not that he has any left of course.
It's a sacrifice in giving away a post presence like Kendrick Perkins, but in the end, the Celtics' best player benefits with rest and fresh legs for the postseason. Not to mention, Nenad Kristic is not half-bad.
1. Krstic Better Than Given Credit for
To give away Kendrick Perkins is a blow to anyone who understands his significance to the team. Aside from Kevin Garnett, he is the other low-post presence that makes his money on the defensive end.
Perkins is also one of the few players who can man up with players like Dwight Howard and Andrew Bynum, who tend to give the C's and every team plenty of problems inside.
But let's not sleep on center Nenad Krstic, who was acquired in the trade for Perkins early Thursday.
Krstic, a six-year veteran from Yugoslavia, is averaging 7.6 points and 4.4 rebounds per game in just 21 minutes of play. He also shoots accurately, at 49.8 percent from the field this season.
Unlike Perkins, Krstic has started in nearly every game in the last two seasons. Last season, Krstic missed six games and has missed nine this season, making for a combined 15 games. Perkins on the other hand, had missed all of this season up until late January.
In the 115-93 win against Golden State, Perkins hurt his knee yet again, and according to Ainge will be out the next week of play.
It would be an unfair statement to say Krstic is a better player than Perkins, or even a player of the same skill level as Perk.
Yet, with Perkins giving the Celtics limited options with his contract—and a potential talent in Green in the deal—rolling the dice with Krstic might not be a bad option.
When Perkins' contract expires after this season, the Celtics would in turn be receiving no value for Perkins, as he could sign a new contract with another team.