Why the Boston Celtics Need To Trade Nate Robinson, Now!

J.B. BirdContributor IIIFebruary 21, 2011

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 11:  Nate Robinson #4 of the Boston Celtics against the Charlotte Bobcats during their game at Time Warner Cable Arena on December 11, 2010 in Charlotte, North Carolina. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this Photograph, User is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

First of all, don't get me wrong: I love Nate Robinson. I cheered when he won the Slam Dunk Competition, I empathise with his "little man wins big" story and l loved his kryptonite green sneakers.

But if the Celtics hope to keep their title hopes alive they need to trade him—now—and here are the reasons why:

1. He doesn't pass well enough to play point guard

You would think for someone so undersized, Nate would have spent his basketball career perfecting his passing skills, learning how to use his speed to draw defenders to him and then place pinpoint passes to the open man.

This is how other sub-six footers, like Muggsy Bogues and Spud Webb, made their marks.

But Nate has always been a score-first, pass-second player. That's acceptable in a shooting guard, barely acceptable in a lottery-bound team, but completely unacceptable for a backup point guard in a team hoping to win its second championship ring in four years.

2. He is too small to play shooting guard

In many games this season, Doc Rivers has played Robinson as a shooting guard, sharing the backcourt with Rajon Rondo.

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However, Nate is no Ray Allen. He has a great three-point shot and is able to throw the ball up with in a millisecond. However, he can only shoot if he is wide open—anything less and he finds himself on the receiving end of a rather nasty rejection.

It's not his fault—he's 5'9", after all. But the Celtics simply can't afford to keep him around as some kind of pint-sized shooting guard, as compensation for the fact that he can't pass well enough to play point guard.

3. He is a defensive liability

Apart from his YouTube famous block on Yao Ming, Nate is an atrocious defender.

Bigger guards know they can back him down or simply shoot over him. Again, this is not entirely his fault, but it is a weakness the Celtics can ill afford.

4. He is undisciplined

How many times have you seen this scenario this season: The Celtics are down by three, they get a defensive stop and run down the court. Nate is leading the break. Does he pass it to one of the big men for a dunk or kick it to an open Pierce or Allen for an open jumper?

No, he pulls up for a lean-in three pointer.

Sometimes this works, usually it doesn't.

I can't believe that this is the play that Doc Rivers has been designing in practice. Doc runs too tight a ship. This is simply Nate "going rogue" again.

In a Celtics team that's strength is its unified and disciplined play-making, Nate has become the crazy uncle that everyone begrudgingly tolerates, but secretly can't stand.

5. He is a bad influence on Glen Davis

Sure, we all loved the Shrek and Donkey routine during last year's Finals.

But Big Baby doesn't need any more encouragement to act irresponsibly. Remember, this is the guy who injured his thumb during the offseason in a fight with a friend.

If this guy is to be the future face of the Celtics, he needs to be surrounded by even tempered vets, not another loose cannon.

6. Delonte West should be back by the playoffs

We all know that Delonte West is another special case himself. He seems to suffer many of the personality flaws of Nate Robinson, but ultimately I feel more confident with him subbing for Rondo than Nate.

He can score in bunches and is tough as nails. As long as he can get himself fixed for the playoffs, then the Celtics can dispense with Nate's somewhat dubious services.

So, in summary, I have a simple message for the Celtics: Trade Nate. Trade him now. Get a shooting guard to make up for the loss of Marquis Daniels (Rip Hamilton comes to mind).

You will need another big gun for the playoffs and Nate simply falls short in too many categories.

If you like this article, please check out some of my other Celtics-related articles:

Has-Beens in Green: 10 Other Former All-Stars who Finished in Boston

LeBron James 2.0: Who Will Be The NBA's Next Superstar? (Hint - it could be Rajon Rondo)

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