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Deadline shocker: Celtics trade Perkins, Robinson to Thunder for Green, Krstic

Feb 24, 2011, 3:48 PM EDT

NBA Finals Game 6:  Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers Getty Images

Boston has made a deadline deal that seems to weaken their defense as they head in the playoffs — and just made the Oklahoma City Thunder a much bigger threat in the West.

Boston has traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Jeff Green and center Nenad Krstic, as confirmed by CSN New England’s A. Sherrod Blakely (Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski was first). He also hints there may be another deal coming (Blakely tweeted they want to sign Troy Murphy), which might help explain this one.

Because for Boston this is a strange move — Perkins and his ferocious interior defense was a key part of their title run three years ago and push to the finals last year. While Kevin Garnett is the heart and soul of the Celtics and their defense, Perkins was the rock along the back line.

If the Celtics meet the Magic in the playoffs, they are going to have a much harder time containing Dwight Howard with Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal and Krstic. The Heat also were worried about Perkins ability to make it hard on LeBron James and Dwyane Wade driving the lane. No other Celtic big man on that roster intimidates them.

The Celtics will miss Perkins when it matters most. They will miss Robinson too, he did provide a scoring spark off the bench. In other moves. Boston traded Semih Erdan and Luke Harangody to Cleveland for a second-round pick; and they moved Marquis Daniels to Sacramento for cash. (We didn’t think Sacramento had any cash.)

Jeff Green is a quality backup combo forward, but he was overrated for a while and people are really taking notice of his weak defense and poor shot selection. He makes up for some of that with athleticism. He’s not a starter, not yet anyway, but as a backup to Paul Pierce he’s an improvement over Marquis Daniels. Marginally. Maybe Green is someone who could someday develop enough to slide into Pierce’s starting spot when he walks away. But this is a guy with a PER below the league average, he’s not that special. And his rookie contract is up in a couple years.

Apparently the primary concern for Boston is that Perkins could be a free agent this summer — they couldn’t afford to pay and keep him. While he had said he wanted to return there was a risk the Celtics could get nothing for him. So they were proactive. Even if it meant hurting the team in the short run.

The Thunder, on the other hand, got exactly what they needed. The long running concern has been their inability to match up with the Lakers long front line in the playoffs, or to stop penetrating guards. Perkins changes those things right off.

The Thunder also made a trade to get Nazr Mohammed from Charlotte for Mo Pete’s expiring and D.J. White. That gives them more real depth along the front line.

  1. hnirobert3 - Feb 24, 2011 at 3:53 PM

    LeBron James > Jeff Green’s defense on him
    Kendrick Perkins > Miami’s front line

    This makes no sense at all.

  2. loungefly74 - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:02 PM

    As a Laker fan…I am worried. Perkins is a beast.

    • ibejeph - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:17 PM

      Me too, to be honest. Stupid Perkins and his scrowling face. Isn’t that guy ever happy?

  3. smokehouse56 - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:13 PM

    The NBA is sick and unwatchable.

  4. yankeesjetsknicksrangers - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:24 PM

    Perk is a angry beast in the paint, glad he’s gone

  5. thestudiokida - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:25 PM

    Kendrick Perkins is my 7-foot angry black doppelgänger. I should help out the Thunder’s defense and rebounding issues.

    For Boston, this trade turns out fine if Shaq is healthy in the playoffs. If not they probably don’t return to the finals.

    • rapmusicmademedoit - Feb 24, 2011 at 5:50 PM

      Dude, you better load up on GERITOL the ONeal Twins

  6. wfon1 - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:39 PM

    As a Laker fan, I like this trade. He was a headache to deal with in the finals and Im glad the Lakers wont have to deal with him or Nate off the bench (assuming we make it to the finals). They both were pissing me off in the finals. Show-boating as well but thats what all the Celtics do. Glad we shut their asses up in the Finals. (oops, got confused. im just realizing that Perkins and Big Baby are 2 different dudes. photo confused me. well, Im glad one of them is gone)

    • Kurt Helin - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:58 PM

      The photo thing is fixed. I just clicked the wrong button and didn’t realize what I had put up. My bad.

    • rapmusicmademedoit - Feb 24, 2011 at 5:46 PM

      Black Mamba may have to face Perk on the Thunder front line…. if healthy he is scary, but without
      KG I don’t know how bad ass he can be.

      I used to like KG in Minny but he became a douche when he was traded to Boston.

      brooklyn laker fan.

      Yo, they turned the lights on last night for my home town KNICKS…. YO, WE BACK.

    • wfon1 - Feb 24, 2011 at 8:55 PM

      dam!! why did I get so many thumbs down?! jajaja LAKER HATERS!

  7. habibthomas - Feb 24, 2011 at 4:42 PM

    Didn’t see this coming at all. I can see Boston paying for this in the playoffs.

  8. steelyres211 - Feb 24, 2011 at 5:57 PM

    This is a horrible deal for Boston, they don’t need to worry about Perkins leaving and them getting nothing, they should be worrying about winning a title THIS YEAR. Boston’s big 3 isn’t getting any younger and this may be their last shot with this group, then it’ll be a couple of years before they can surround Rondo with enough talent to make them a contender again.

    Bad news for the Lakers, the Thunder gave them all they could handle last year, and this closes the gap tremendously.

    • wfon1 - Feb 24, 2011 at 8:58 PM

      nope, Lakers just took them too lightly as they do with most young teams (Portland, Charlotte etc)

  9. zacksdad - Feb 24, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Great, now Boston can say “We would have beaten the Lakers if we did not trade Perkins”. They have their excuse even before the playoffs begin.

  10. musilly - Feb 24, 2011 at 7:34 PM

    Given the short window of Boston’s Big 3 (and Rondo’s dependence on them), this is a strange, strange basketball move. Great pick-up for the Thunder however.

  11. passerby23 - Feb 24, 2011 at 8:03 PM

    Let’s wait and see what else Boston does before we judge this, people. As of now, pros and cons for the Celtics:

    Pros: Krstic gives the Celtics offense and improved FT shooting which Perkins couldn’t provide. Jeff Green gives them IMPERATIVE depth at the 3 spot to help out Pierce and could be shuffled over to the 4 at times. With Delonte West back, Nate Robinson became expendable. They got a little more athletic.

    Cons: There goes the vaunted interior defense that made the Celtics unique. There goes the one man who could slow Dwight Howard (I’m guessing they think Big Baby can help some in that department). There goes some tenacity and toughness.

    For the Thunder, Perkins fills a major need in the paint and makes their defense instantly better – the one glaring weakness on their roster. They lose a versatile, athletic forward but should have enough anyway with the likes of Durant, Ibaka, and Collison. They can go big and workmanlike with Collison and Perkins or small and athletic with Ibaka at the 5.

    I wonder if the Celtics were concerned at all about Perkins’ health. If I’m the Lakers, I’m a little more concerned. Let’s see if the Celtics make another move.

  12. 6webd - Feb 24, 2011 at 8:24 PM

    lakers are not a threat this year, even less so now. One more team in the west will have every chance to beat them.

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