Nenad Krstic is now the Boston Celtics center. That's probably the quickest way to sum up the past few wild hours for Danny Ainge and company. What started with reports earlier Thursday morning that Boston was content to let the NBA trade deadline come and go, quickly escalated into three separate deals as 3 p.m. EST approached, and a radically different Celtics team. To recap:
- Jeff Green (via Thunder)
- Nenad Krstic (via Thunder)
- 2012 first-round pick (top-10 protected, via Clippers)
- 2013 second-round pick (via Cleveland)
- Troy Murphy ?
- Cash (via Kings)
Celtics GIVE UP:
- Kendrick Perkins (to Thunder)
- Nate Robinson (to Thunder)
- Marquis Daniels (to Kings; he opted not to veto the trade)
- Semih Erden (to Cavaliers)
- Luke Harangody (to Cavaliers)
Initially trading away Perkins, a key figure on a championship team, is puzzling, but maybe he just hasn't been the same since his devastating knee injury in Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals. While we've only seen him in 12 games this season, Ainge and Doc Rivers see him every day, and it's possible they just weren't happy with his recovery. Moreover though, the center already turned down one contract extension (he's a free agent after this season), as MIke Prada points out over at SB Nation:
Therefore, he decided to get something for him now while he has value instead of keeping him and potentially losing him for nothing as a free agent. At the very least, Boston got the wing player they were seeking (Green), and also got a future asset (the 2012 pick). They also cleared roster space to add more size to replace Perkins once veterans get bought out. So maybe Ainge was thinking the cost of losing a mainstay like Perkins could be made up anyway.
After Thursday's dealings, the Celtics have three open roster spots -- one of which is likely to be used on troy Murphy after the Warriors but him out -- but future success of these deals hinges on Jeff Green. And the early reviews are not glowing (via Kelly Dwyer at Ball Don't Lie):
He's a poor rebounder, an awful defender at the power forward slot, and he doesn't do enough offensively to warrant a look at small forward. And yet, this doesn't stop him from shooting nearly four three-pointers a game, despite making only 30 percent of his looks from out there. His shot selection has been an issue since his rookie year, and it's still hard to tell, exactly, where he fits in this league. Other than a guy that seems to luck into getting big minutes and plenty of shot opportunities.
For Celtics fans, it's likely that CelticsBlog's Jeff Clark sums it up best: "[A]s of now, I think we are well justified to be more than a little skeptical. You better know what you're doing Danny."