COMMENTARY | Danny Ainge surprised the basketball world a few years ago when he traded Kendrick Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Jeff Green. By signing off on this deal, Ainge sent away the team's starting center, who many believed was a huge part of the team on the defensive end. Perkins was an important fixture when the team won a championship, and many believed they could have won another if he did not get injured against the Los Angeles Lakers in the NBA Finals.
Jeff Green had a rough start in Boston. He didn't play well right away, and then missed an entire season due to a very serious health condition. Green started to come around at the end of last season, and finally started to look like the player that many believe he should be. Of course, with Rajon Rondo injured, it was too little too late.
Plenty of Celtics fans were critical of the deal. Ainge broke up a group that had plenty of success, and the team was clearly shaken up. They struggled to find a real center to replace Perkins, and Kevin Garnett ended up having to adjust accordingly as more of a full time center. A few years later, former Boston coach Doc Rivers is now admitting that trading Perkins was a mistake.
Rivers admits that getting rid of Perkins certainly took Garnett out of his zone a bit. The team has struggled with stop-gag centers, and KG has often ended up playing out of his comfort zone at center. He clearly benefited from having Perkins behind him as another line of defense and as a rebounder, which has been a huge area of weakness recently.
Looking forward, however, I'm sure the Celtics are very happy with Jeff Green. Kendrick Perkins looks out of place in Oklahoma City, as he was clearly in an ideal situation in Boston. Green looks to be a major part of Boston's future, particularly with Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce now out of the picture.
Still, you can't help but wonder if having a piece for the future makes the trade a good one. The Celtics simply looked defeated after the deal, and struggled to adapt to the change. Plenty of Celtics fans questioned the Kendrick Perkins trade when it happened, and now Doc Rivers is ready to admit that it probably wasn't such a great idea.
Mark lives in the Boston area and has been covering New England sports for various blogs over the past 4 years. He has been featured on Fox Sports Yardbarker, Fox Sports, and Sports Illustrated "Hot Clicks", and has been published on Celtics 24/7, Bleacher Report, and Sports-Kings.
- Sports & Recreation
- Kendrick Perkins
- Oklahoma City Thunder
- Danny Ainge
- Kevin Garnett