What Are You Doing, Danny?

“If you chase two rabbits, both will get away”-Ancient Proverb

In the spirit of Bill Walton doing color commentary for the Celtics lately, I figured it was appropriate to start off this post with a ridiculous Walton-esque saying.  Today, just before the trading deadline, Danny Ainge made a slew of moves that have left Celtic fans scratching their heads.  He first moved Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic.  He followed that by moving Semih Erden and Luke Harangody to Cleveland for a two draft picks.  He also shipped Marquis Daniels to Sacramento for cash.

Obviously Danny is thinking…I don’t know what the hell Danny is thinking. With these moves, Danny is clearly chasing two rabbits.  He has his eyes on the future, clearly afraid of the Celtics going into the same recession that plagued them when Bird, Parish, and McHale retired.  He is also (believe it or not) trying to improve his roster for this season to win a championship.  But it is hard not to  have the “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” frame of mind.  The Celtics didn’t have to make moves to get better.

Kendrick Perkins will be an unrestricted free agent after this season and Danny must have figured they weren’t going to re-sign him.  His injury on Tuesday night was nothing of consequence with this trade.  The Celtics lose their enforcer in the paint, the one man who could guard Dwight Howard, and a piece of the starting five that has never lost a playoff series together.  The Celtics also lose Nate Robinson who was replaceable with Delonte West coming back from injury.

Jeff Green is a 24 year old kid that was once the 5th pick by the Celtics and promptly shipped to (then) Seattle for Ray.  He will be expected to back up Paul Pierce.  Green is averaging 15 points and 5 rebounds in what many people are calling a down year. One would think Danny would make this move in hopes of resigning Green to start a nucleus with Rondo for the future.  The Celtics also acquired Nenad Kristic, a 7 seven footer averaging 7 points and 4 rebounds with the Thunder.

This is a highly risky move by Danny Ainge with the health of the O’Neal’s in doubt.  Danny must be confident that the front court of Shaq, KG, Kristic, and Glen Davis will be enough to win banner 18.

Ainge also freed up three roster spots by moving Erden, Harangody, and Daniels.  This will lead to all kinds of speculation where the Celtics can land players that were bought out.  Among those that have been mentioned are Troy Murphy, Rip Hamilton, and the return of my nemesis Rasheed Wallace.

There is a belief that these moves are the start of a process that will bring Dwight Howard to the Celtics after next season.  I hate the idea of playing for the future when this team had the second best winning percentage in the NBA and beat the likes of the Heat (3 times), Spurs, and Lakers.  I also don’t like making moves for the sake of clearing space in hopes of landing a big time free agent.  Remember when the Knicks did that and lost out on LeBron?

My knee jerk to this maelstrom of activity is very negative.  Perk did have a knack for getting my blood boiling at times with his play, but overall I appreciated the effort he put forth every night.  These Celtics have always won with defense and abandoning that strategy now is curious to me.  Danny Ainge has also broken up an outstanding chemistry and a team that when healthy was the definition of successful.

Usually after trades, the fan base should be excited about the players coming in because the they will improve the team.  These trades didn’t improve anything and I venture to say the Celtics have taken a few steps backward.  If the Celtics don’t win the 2011 NBA Championship, fans will be able to point to February 24 as the day the season was lost.

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2 Responses

  1. Pretty sure if they had Perk for game 7 last year they woulda had banner 18….tough loss, not a huge C’s follower but can’t believe I won’t see Perk’s scowl anymore

  2. OK, here is a thought…I like Perk, big man, big heart, big defense. He rejected his contract extension (see Chris Bosh scenario in Toronto), there were no assurances he would re-sign and he loses his Bird rights. His agent should be fired. This move is a preservation of Allen and Pierce, they cannot continue to play 40 mins a night. This deal is not necessary if Boston had health this year, but they never had a full roster, therefore Allen, Pierce, log way too many minutes at the swing positions, a very physically demanding spot. Kind of like Perk himself, it is a good deal, defensible and fundamental in approach, with an eye to the future. What if Perk hits the market in the summer and they bring him back?

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