Kendick Perkins is gone. So is Nate Robinson. And Marquis Daniels. And to a lesser extent, rookies Semih Erden and Luke Harangody. All five players were traded away by the Boston Celtics on Thursday, for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic, a couple draft picks and some cash. It was a wild Thursday afternoon, but now the dust has settled, which means it is time to hand out a grade.
Mike Prada at SB Nation gives Danny Ainge and the Celtics a C- for their dealings, saying, "I'm not sure it was worth the risk."
I sort of see the logic, because the Celtics did play well while Perkins recovered from injury, but I still don't like the change. The Celtics do have a need on the wing, and Green provides it. He can play small forward in conventional lineups and power forward in small lineups, giving the Celtics a guy to check LeBron James and Carmelo Anthony. But the trade, combined with the salary dump of Semih Erden, removes the Celtics' advantage over the Heat, Knicks and other contenders: size. I'm not sure why Ainge removed that trump card to match what other teams are doing. Sure, having no Daniels is a void, but why not a smaller trade for an Anthony Parker or the like instead? Why tinker at the Celtics' essence?
That feeling is shared at CelticsBlog where, in a post titled "Danny's Folly," they write that , "the Celtics took a step backward this year," while a whopping 65 percent (1631 votes) do not like the trades.
Checking in elsewhere around the Internet ...
Bill Simmons gives the Celtics a C- as well, saying that their moves made sense on paper, but that personally, and emotionally, he didn't want to see it:
And there's the rub. We don't play basketball on paper. I cared about this particular Celtics team more than any Celtics squad since Reggie Lewis was alive -- and that includes the 2008 title team -- mainly because the players enjoyed one another so much. I wasn't surprised to hear that Perkins cried for most of the day Thursday, that Boston's veterans were infuriated by the trade, that Rondo (Perk's best friend) was practically catatonic heading into Thursday night's game in Denver. These guys loved one another. As recently as last season, you couldn't have said that. But Shaq loosened everyone up; so did four full years of the core guys being together; so did Doc's belated maturation into an impactful coach (believe me, I'm as shocked as anyone); so did the contract extensions (Boston's four All-Stars are signed through at least 2012); so did the bonding experience of blowing Game 7 and having that purple confetti fall on their heads; so did the enduring belief that nobody had ever beaten them when they were healthy.
ESPN's John Hollinger gives Boston a grade of a B:
Everyone in Beantown is puzzled by this deal, but the Celtics desperately needed a wing and had a surplus of centers. Obviously, dealing Perkins was a risk, and getting the Clippers draft pick is of questionable value for a team trying to win a title right now. I wrote more about the move HERE, but suffice it to say I can understand the logic as long as the Celtics think it's the Miami Heat and San Antonio Spurs, not the Orlando Magic and Los Angeles Lakers, who present the greatest threats to their title hopes this season.