NBA Roundtable

Celtics Trade Perk for Jeff Green

In Trade Talk on February 25, 2011 at 12:45 pm

ESPN reports

Just before Thursday’s 3 p.m. ET trade deadline, the Boston Celtics agreed to ship center Kendrick Perkins and guard Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for forward Jeff Green and big man Nenad Krstic in a deal the NBA approved about five hours later.

The Celtics also received cash and a 2012 first-round pick that was previously owned by the Los Angeles Clippers as part of the deal.

“We think it upgrades our team, ultimately,” Ainge said in an interview on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “You always have to give up something of value to get something of value in return. We feel this will help our team this year and help us in the future as well.”

“The bottom line is: We’ll see,” Rivers said Thursday before Boston’s game at Denver. “We think we did pretty well today. … Whoever is the single best player in the trade, that’s who you try to get. Whether that’s Jeff Green or Perk, we don’t know that. Krstic is a good piece for us as well. He spreads the floor, which I think is great for [Rajon] Rondo. Jeff Green spreads the floor, too.”

“We needed to get that [small forward or power forward] swing guy,” Rivers added. “One of the things I was just saying is that this gives us the ability — like the year we won it — at times we can go small with Green at the 4 and Kevin [Garnett] at the 5, with Paul [Pierce] and Ray [Allen] spreading the floor. We’ve been trying to get that lineup ever since [James] Posey left. You forget how many times we did that in the playoffs, which was every fourth quarter. We haven’t been able to duplicate that and, in some ways, it’s hurt Rondo.”

Thoughts

Boston Celtics

  • Very dependent on Shaquille O’Neal and Jermaine O’Neal being healthy and productive come playoff time now.
  • If they can stay healthy, Boston improved themselves.
  • If they cannot stay healthy, Boston is going to regret this trade in a major way. Possibly at the cost of a Championship.

Oklahoma City Thunder

  • Perk gives them a legitimate defensive and physical presence in the the paint.
  • Perkins and Ibaka will combine to form one of the best defensive partnerships in the league up front.
  • Oklahoma have become an outside contender in the West.
  • They are still short offensively — Thabo + Perk + Ibaka in starting lineup — to be an elite team but they are very close. Top defensive side and great at creating extra possessions. Need to find another offensive player to play in that starting lineup to join the ranks of Miami, Boston and LA.

Kendrick Perkins

Perk is a good to very good defensive player and rebounder. One of toughest low post defenders in the game.

Offensively, very limited. Strictly a garbage man. So-so hands plus takes forever to gather himself before putting up a shot. Has a little bit of a post game but only against mismatches, otherwise he costs you more than he gives you as a shot creator. Turnover prone with his screens (illegal screens).

It’s still too early to say for sure how well he has recover from his most recent injury.

Jeff Green

Jeff Green is a poor man’s Tayshaun Prince.

He has been played out of position for the past three years which is the only reason his defensive statistics are as bad as they are.

And those numbers are spot on, Jeff Green is often a defensive liability at the four. He doesn’t have the size or heft needed to matchup at that position. He can give quality defense against some quick/undersized PFs, perimeter based fours and combo forwards like himself as a power forward. However, he cannot matchup against PFs with good size, bulk and/or tall PFs.

As a small forward, Jeff Green is a good to very good defensive player with excellent defensive potential. He is also a solid rebounder vs the liability he is at the four spot.

He has solid ball-handling ability, good passer, has a post game, decent jump shot. He has a well rounded skill-set offensively that badly needs refinement for him to become a high quality scoring threat.

In terms of creating mismatches against opponents … as a PF, his main asset is his quickness advantage. As a SF, his best asset is his size and strength. So he should play quite well against teams with undersized SFs or two guards masquerading as SFs. Against big SFs, say Marvin Williams, Jeff Green will have a tough time creating his own shot and will need to rely on others to create openings for him.

Jeff Green is a much more consistent shot-creator at the four than the three (quickness advantage at PF happens more regularly than his size advantage at SF).

Nenad Krstic

Poor defender, very poor rebounder and a solid complementary offensive player.

Nice jump shot.

Nate Robinson

Explosive scorer off the bench as a backup PG.

An improvement over Eric Maynor.

The Clippers Draft Pick

  • 2012 first rounder
  • Top 10 protected until 2016

Perk + Green = 2011 Free Agency

  • Jeff Green is a restricted free agent this summer and is expected to command $40 million over five years
  • Kendrick Perkins is an unrestricted free agent this summer and could be expected to get $8-10 million per annum.

Celtics 2012 Free Agency

  • Paul Pierce, Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green (~$8mil) and Avery Bradley would combine to cost $37.5 million.
  • Additional costs for draft picks (2011 + 2012 first rounders + possibly Clippers pick) would add another $4 million to the picture.
  • That would give the C’s eight roster spots so another charge, cap hold, for four empty roster spots worth around $2 million.
  • That would take their salary situation to about $43.5 million. Assuming a cap of $56 million, the Celtics wouldn’t have enough flexibility to offer Dwight Howard a maximum contract … but they could probably clear enough space if they needed to.
  • It does raise doubts about their ability to acquire a max contract player in 2012 if Jeff Green is given an extension this summer. As it would have if Perk got a multi-year extension.

Summary

Excellent trade by Oklahoma, pushes them up the playoff picture in the West.

Risky trade by Boston that will be decided by the health of Jermaine and Shaquille O’Neal come playoff time. If it’s good, then it’s a major improvement for Boston. If it’s bad news, then it could cost them the title.

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