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Kendrick Perkins is a gentle giant that wears his emotions on his sleeve. On Thursday, those emotions were on display as the Boston Celtics traded Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. Perkins, reportedly broken up about the trade, was seen crying as Nate Robinson tried to console him after they received news of the trade.
Robinson said Perkins was distraught at the prospect of moving his family, pulling up his roots and leaving his friends after spending eight years in Boston.
He's taking it pretty hard because he's been here eight years," Robinson just said while checking out of the team hotel in Denver. "He was very emotional, crying. He has to move his family, and he's been really tight with Rondo and other guys on the team. I feel his pain. It was tough when I left New York because of all the guys I'd been around."
It wasn't just Perkins upset on Thursday, either. Upset at losing a leader and positive presence in the locker room, Celtics' veterans were reportedly livid upon hearing the news. The move not only drastically reshapes the roster, but also changes the locker room chemistry, a dangerous territory to wade in to.
For more on the Celtics busy day, check out the rest of our StoryStream.
The Oklahoma City Thunder traded for Kendrick Perkins just before Thursday's deadline for NBA trades to be completed. The deal, in which the Thunder gave up fourth-year forward Jeff Green, gives Oklahoma City a desperately needed defensive anchor at center. Perkins replaced Nenad Krstic, who will join the Boston Celtics' revamped frontcourt.
Perkins tore knee ligaments in the 2010 NBA Finals, and has only played in 12 games this season after spending the fall and start of winter recovering from offseason surgery. But he'd started 232 games over the previous three seasons, including the Celtics' 2008 NBA Championship campaign. On such a stacked team with the league's best defense seemingly every season, that tells you how valued Perkins was.
Despite his stature -- he's listed at 6-10, but might not be that -- Perkins typically finishes in the top 10 in the league in block percentage, and he's learned to limit his fouls. His man defense is a huge upgrade over Krstic, and will allow Nick Collison -- a fine defender in his own right -- to split power forward minutes with Serge Ibaka. The Thunder also managed to trade for Nazr Mohammed; he will play behind Perkins, leaving only minimal drop-off defensively.
The Boston Celtics executed a flurry of trades just before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, shipping out Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Marquis Daniels, Semih Erden and Luke Harangody in three separate deals. The C's did take some players back -- Jeff Green, most notably, but also Nenad Krstic -- but the moves had an eye toward salary flexibility moving forward.
After the trades, the Celtics have just three players -- Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo and Avery Bradley -- on the books for the 2012-13 season. That means that Boston could end up serious players in the 2012 free agent market, which just so happens to star Chris Paul, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard ... potentially.
Any or all of those players could sign extensions with their current teams well before 2012, or they could follow the paths of LeBron James, Dwyane Wade and Chris Bosh before them and start a derby. With Rondo in place, Boston would most likely look toward Howard, the best center in the NBA.
Green is a restricted free agent at season's end, and signing him long-term could throw a wrench in those 2012 plans. The team must also address the loss of Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen at the end of the 2011-12 season as well; re-signing either or both would restrict Boston's cap space. But for a really old team competing for a championship right now? Cap flexibility in a year and change is pretty outrageous. The Celtics will have options going forward.
Jeff Green is the biggest piece that the Boston Celtics acquired in a surprising trade with the Oklahoma City Thunder for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. The 24-year old forward was initially drafted by the Celtics with the No. 5 overall pick in the 2007 draft before being sent to the Seattle Supersonics for Ray Allen. Now, he's come full circle as a teammate of Allen's. (Ironically, one other player in that trade -- Delonte West -- is also back with the Celtics).
Green will likely be a reserve for the Celtics, backing up both Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett. If so, it'll mean that Green will have to accept a reduced role from the one he was playing with the Thunder. Green has played about 37 minutes per game in each of the last three seasons, but now, he may have to settle for 60 percent of that. I would think the Celtics would use him primarily to back up Pierce at small forward, with him also seeing time at power forward in small lineups.
It's a role that may be better suited for him, in the end. Green has shown little growth as a player since a promising second season. His three-point shooting percentage has fallen off in each of the last three seasons, and his rebounding has always been a major weakness for a power forward. Defensively, Green has fallen off since a promising performance last season. In fact, I argued earlier this year that Green was one thing holding the Thunder back. But these weaknesses are less of a problem as a reserve than as a front-line starter, so maybe we will start to appreciate Green's versatility and his relative strengths.
The Boston Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins just before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, shocking just about everyone who follows the NBA. Perkins has been a crucial member of Boston's championship-winning core, and as the rare cheap member of the roster, seemed like the perfect fit going forward. But Perkins' contract is up at season's end, and all indications are that the center wanted to cash in like the rest of the Celtics.
To that end, just weeks ago Perkins rejected a contract extension worth $22 million over four years. In comments to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England at the time, Perkins indicated he'd have been more amenable to an extension worth $30 million over four years, which had been initially reported as the offer.
"That wasn't it. They offered me four years, but it was closer to like $22 million," Perkins said. "You talking four years, $30 million! Shoot, that's different. That's a big difference."
The fact that the Celtics tried this month to extend Perkins means that the franchise's belief in its own ability to keep the center at a fairly low salary was waning. Perkins didn't receive an adequate big man replacement in trading Perkins, with Jeff Green being more of a small forward and Nenad Krstic being both mediocre and a pending free agent. The Celtics also traded Semih Erden, a promising big man from Turkey, to the Cavaliers to cut salary.
Perkins, by holding out for more than $5 million a year, may have gotten himself traded.
The Celtics shocked the NBA with the Kendrick Perkins trade on Thursday, and as the dust settles after the trade deadline, some of the Celtics, themselves, are beginning to ask why GM Danny Ainge did any of this in the first place.
Yahoo! Sports is already reporting that Celtics veterans are "livid" over the news, and though Jeff Green brings the Celtics an attractive young player on the wing that'll likely help for years to come, you have to think Kevin Garnett is wondering whether they just sacrificed a title this year.
Suddenly, Boston's left with Shaquille O'Neal, Jermaine O'Neal, and Nenad Krstic as their primary big man. And without Kendrick Perkins, the defense that owned Dwight Howard for the past few seasons suddenly looks a lot more manageable. It's not to say that Boston is suddenly mediocre without Perkins, but... Well, if this is Danny Ainge's grand plan, you can understand why guys like Paul Pierce and Garnett might be a little upset.
I bet they all reacted a little bit like Shaq does in this video. Can you blame them?
The Boston Celtics will receive another asset in the trade that sends Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. They will also receive a 2012 first-round pick from the Thunder that was initially acquired from the Clippers, according to Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe.
The pick is Top-10 protected, and will be the lower pick from either the Clippers or the Minnesota Timberwolves in that draft. The Clippers initially acquired the pick in a 2005 trade for Sam Cassell. The Thunder acquired the pick from the Clippers last year in exchange for the No. 18 pick in the 2010 draft. The Clippers used that pick on Eric Bledsoe.
The move signals that the Celtics are thinking about the future beyond the Big 3 era. It also could mean that they will be signing a veteran that will be bought out after the trade deadline. Still, given the age of the Celtics' stars and the Celtics' own position in the Eastern Conference, it's a little curious that general manager Danny Ainge seems to have his eye on the future.
The Boston Celtics and Oklahoma City Thunder have pulled off a stunning trade just minutes before the NBA Trade Deadline. The Celtics have agreed to send center Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for a package involving forward Jeff Green and center Nenad Krstic, according to Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski and NBA writer Sam Amick. Both Green and Perkins are impending free agents. Green is a restricted free agent, while Perkins is unrestricted.
The move gives the Thunder legitimate size as they push the Western Conference's elite. Perkins has recovered from a devastating knee injury suffered in the NBA Finals, and is an elite defensive center. The Celtics had not been able to agree on a long-term contract extension with him, so they decided to move him instead.
The Celtics, meanwhile, acquire a wing player that they have been coveting for a while, plus a Perkins replacement in Krstic. Green will help provide depth behind Paul Pierce and Ray Allen and provide another forward that can play in small lineups.