Boston gets: Shane Battier & Chase Budinger
Houston gets: Kendrick Perkins & Nate Robinson
It's been well established that Boston's bloodletting of Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Luke Harangody, and Semih Erden have left quite a few heads scratched.
Yet, after my own initial "why now?" moments, I think I've come to understand the deal more, even if I still don't necessarily agree with it.
Boston apparently must be prepared to blow this thing up after this year. They must have felt like they either couldn't or wouldn't re-sign Perkins this offseason. Why else would they begin collecting assets like Jeff Green and Second Round Draft picks in return for key bench cogs?
I can understand moving Nate Robinson, explosive as he can be, if Boston feels that Delonte West really is back, and after seeing Von Wafer provide plenty of spark so far.
I can understand feeling like Perkins, oft-injured as he's been of late, might be expendable with so many other proven bigs on the roster. However, what I really don't get was then ALSO trading away Erden and Harangody. I know those two guys didn't play a ton, but they were at least capable low-minute insurance policies if either of the O'Neals go down again.
Which they will.
Jeff Green is a guy that Boston originally drafted and obviously still likes a lot. He now fills the Marquis Daniels utility-man role, is versatile, and gives them a lot of potential. Yet, he's on an expiring contract too, making his long-term future questionable as well.
Making essentially the same deal for Shane Battier, instead of Jeff Green, would have been a clear sign to Boston's veterans that this is the final shot, rather than sending mixed signals about when the rebuilding phase is actually starting.
Jeff Green is an outstanding all around player and a better athlete than Battier right now, but I'll go to war with Shane Battier in the Playoffs any day. Boston's veterans would to.
What's more, Boston could have used Battier's defensive versatility, experience, and floor stretching shots this season, then let his contract expire if they really are moving on.
Chase Budinger would have also given the Celtics a little more athleticism and wing versatility, as well as another asset for the offseason. It certainly would have been okay to keep Harangody and Erden too. If wanting additional picks, why not just package those players together before the draft, but after this title run is done? Wouldn't their value go up if they all have a new ring on their finger?
Finally, this would have been an absolute no brainer for Houston.
If they were wanting a prospective replacement for Yao Ming, doesn't the 26-year old Perkins already do more defensively than Hasheem Thabeet ever will?
Wouldn't it be nice not to wait around for a development that may never come, when you could take a battle-tested, ring wearing veteran and plug him alongside Luis Scola instead?
Plus, Nate Robinson comes along in this deal, giving them a nice young backcourt rotation along with Kevin Martin, Kyle Lowry and Goran Dragic.
Sometimes, this stuff just makes too much sense to me.