NBA Trades: Kendrick Perkins To Thunder Earns OKC 'A' Grade

Trade specifics: Oklahoma City acquires Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson; Boston acquires Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a 2012 first-round pick via the Clippers (top-10 protected).

Oklahoma City Thunder: Simply a no-brainer. Green wasn't producing for them, and it was past time for the Thunder to do something about it. The Thunder's defense has fallen off considerably, and Green was being exposed playing 37 minutes a game at power forward. Perkins, meanwhile, gives the Thunder a legitimate defensive anchor that they have lacked during their rise. This also allows Serge Ibaka to assume the power forward position, which is good because ibaka is better than Green. They may lose a little offensively, but they make a massive, massive upgrade defensively. If Perkins is still not healthy after his injury in the NBA Finals last season, they can simply let him go after the year and maintain flexibility.

There comes a time when every rising team needs to stop overvaluing their own players and take a shot to win this season. Sam Presti and the Thunder have done just that. Grade: A

Boston Celtics: I can't help but think general manager Danny Ainge overthought this. The Celtics team as they were was the best team in the Eastern Conference, with three wins against second-place Miami. They did a lot of that without Perkins, and thought the whole time that he'd come back and help them in the playoffs. Instead, an injury to backup small forward Marquis Daniels caused Ainge to change his entire plan.

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?

Maybe they felt Perkins would not be a Celtic past this season (he rejected their extension offer) and wanted to get something for him before he bolted. But the Celtics were one of the best teams in the league and a legitimate title contender, and now they have to make a fairly major change to their rotation. I'm not sure it was worth the risk. Grade: C-

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