Friday, February 25, 2011

Wherein Steve defends the Perkins trade.

Although there is a lot of hand-wringing going on about the Kendrick Perkins deal in Boston, let me go on record as being for it. The factors in my liking of it:

1) If you're assuming that O'Neal and O'Neal are healthy, then Perkins kind of duplicates what they give you already. And if you're assuming that they won't be healthy, Perkins isn't exactly a paradigm of health either after experiencing a significant injury last year. He also was hurt at the time of the trade.

2) The Celtics got back the best player in the deal, in Jeff Green. After his rookie year, I wasn't the biggest fan, and I don't think he's a future superstar. But he's a good to very good wing player, and he gives the Celtics a clear upgrade over the flotsam they were using to back up Pierce and Allen. I imagine he'll get close to 20 minutes a game backing up both players down the stretch, and help to preserve their stamina for the playoffs.

3) Perkins was leaving anyway after this season. I believe at that point, he was a restricted free agent, and given how insane teams are about 7-foot centers, there was little chance the Celtics could retain him. Look at the deals signed by guys who can barely play, like Darko, Mark Blount, Jerome James… Pretty much all of them became millstones around the necks of their various teams.

4) While Jeff Green is in the same sort of contract limbo after this year (I believe), because he is a wing there is a chance the Celtics can re-sign him somewhat cheaply. It took Rudy Gay a long time to convince a stupid organization he was worth the money, after all, and Glen Davis didn't get a ton of interest this offseason.

5) Nenad Krstic can actually play a little bit, you know. He was starting for the Thunder. He is a completely different kind of player from Perkins, O'Neal and O'Neal, which I think helps. Depending on match-ups, you can throw him out there to get a guy like Howard away from the basket for a couple possessions. Sure, he will get demolished on defense, but he's probably the third or fourth center anyway.

6) The loss of Nate Robinson isn't a huge deal to me. With Green on the second unit now, you presumably don't need a creator who also plays the point. This is especially true if Delonte West can stay healthy (always a big "if", of course).

7) Finally, I think the Celtics are probably going to get the best of whatever they can from the contract buyout guys. There is already talk that Troy Murphy is on his way to the Celtics, and he's the type of player fans will love - Big tall white guy who rebounds. I imagine Ainge also has his eye on a back-up point guard. TJ Ford would be perfect if he gets bought out.
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