While I was getting ready to put together my guide for visiting Boston (hint: there are a lot of pubs listed in it for some strange reason), this bombshell dropped.
If you're too lazy to click the link, the Celtics basically blew up their team by trading Kendrick Perkins, Nate Robinson, Luke Harangody (who I was quickly falling in love with), Marquis Daniels, and Semih Goobledygook for spare change, a restricted free agent, and a center who plays zero defense.
Perkins and Robinson go to the Thunder. The Celtics get Jeff Green (restricted free agent after this season) and Nenad Krstic who, while a much better offensive player, is nowhere near the anchor Perkins was at center. Krstic is more like the hole in the dingy that keeps widening while the rest of the crew bails water.
Harangody and Semih were sent to Cleveland (known in NBA circles as The Dark Side) to be Baron Davis' gun bag carriers. In return the Celtics get a second round pick.
Yeah, not even done. Marquis Daniels, who was playing better than ever before suffering a bizarre and serious spinal cord injury was traded for cash.
My initial reaction: What the fuck???!!! Perkins may not be an offensive juggernaut, but he was well liked, a defensive and rebounding monster and one of those rare players that could affect the game in ways that didn't appear in the box score. I'm convinced the Celtics would have hung banner 18 had he not gone down with a knee injury in Game Six of the Finals last spring.
Robinson was also loved by his team mates, but from a basketball standpoint, he was replaceable. Harangody and Semih are both very promising rookies who busted their asses and made the most of the limited minutes they had.
Here's what confuses me. With the O'Neals both hurt (Shaq and Jermaine) the Celtics were rumored to be going after more big men. Instead they jettisoned the three (Perkins, Semih and Harangody) who were the most effective the past two months. Now they are left with Garnett, Krstic, and the O'Neals.
So what gives? Is there another move coming? Are they luring Robert Parish out of retirement?
Yes, I like Jeff Green (who was drafted by the Celtics then traded for Ray Allen), but he may be gone after this season. Krstic I have no clue about, but he better endear himself to the Boston fans quickly or things will turn ugly for him in a hurry. The jettisoning of the other players certainly seems like there is something else in the works. Maybe some big is getting bought out of his contract? Maybe the Celtics have some free agent rookie they're high on?
Whatever is going on, let's just focus on the trade. The Thunder get a monster defensive presence that knows how to rebound and get the fast break going in a hurry. They also get a bench spark in Robinson who could also play well with Westbrook at the two guard. It certainly seems like OKC is a more diverse, tough and capable team today then they were yesterday.
The Celtics get a capable scorer in Green who will probably get fewer shots playing with Pierce, Allen, and Garnett and a big question mark to plug in the middle.
Maybe this will be great move in the long run. Maybe the Celtics know Perkins' knee will never be the same and figured they'd sell high. Maybe Green will sign long term since he has the perfect name to play here. Maybe Krstic will turn out to be phenomenal all around player.
But right now, Celtic fans are now hanging their hopes on the return of a 38 year old Shaq and red flags are flapping wildly in the Boston air.