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Friday February 25, 2011 1:18 pm

Kendrick Perkins traded away from the Boston Celtics: Good or Bad?




Posted by Dennis Velasco Categories: Athletes, NBA, News, Playoffs, Trades,

Kendrick Perkins traded away from the Boston CelticsThe Boston Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic, as well as a first round pick in 2012 that belonged to the Los Angeles Clippers. Is this move by the Celtics beneficial or detrimental? Perkins was an integral part of the Celtics' recent runs in the playoffs that saw them reach the NBA Finals in two of the past three seasons, including one NBA title. In fact, many think that if he hadn't gotten hurt during last year's NBA Finals, the outcome would have been different where the Celtics defeat the Los Angeles Lakers.

The trade was as stunning as when the New Jersey Nets traded for Deron Williams, one of the best point guards in the league, because it seemingly came out of nowhere. Two of the Celtics' veterans and leaders took it hard as Kevin Garnett said it was like losing a family member, which Paul Pierce intimated as well, having played with Perkins since he arrived in the NBA straight from high school in 2003. Perkins averaged 6.4 points on 56.3% shooting from the floor, 6.0 rebounds, and 1.4 blocks per game in only 22.3 minutes of play for his career spanning seven-plus seasons.

However, Perkins was more than just numbers as he brought a tenacity and zeal for playing the game, doing the ugly and less-than-savory things most teams need. He was a presence on the boards and on defense, giving the Celtics that hard-working player that blue-collar Celtics fans came to appreciate. Now with Perkins gone, the team gives away one of the advantages it had over other teams in the east - size and depth in the frontcourt. Why do that? Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge said it was to look toward the future since there was some concern in re-signing Perkins within the team's budget and to give the Celtics something that they've been missing since James Posey bolted after Boston won their 17th NBA championship just a few seasons ago - another scorer from the wing position that can do a little bit of everything. That is the role for Jeff Green to fulfill. But who'll lay the Perkins role now?

The Celtics are banking on the old knees of both Shaquille O'Neal and Jermaine O'Neal to be healthy and ready for a full playoff schedule. Neither has played much recently and may be part of the strategy to give the old veterans some rest before a playoff stretch run to end the season. Can the newly-acquired Krstic bang in the box as nasty as Perkins? Make the other team regret coming in the paint? It's doubtful because that's not Krstic's game. The Celtics could very well regret the move and while Perkins may be regretting it too, he'll provide an instant toughness to his new team, the Thunder and should help the young players there through a playoff grind. The funny part of the previous sentence is that Perkins is all of 26 years, but is already a veteran with invaluable experience.

Right now most Celtics players are experiencing the pain of a key role player. They only hope that the pain stops before the postseason.

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