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With newly acquired Thunder guard Nate Robinson having knee surgery that will cause him to miss 4-6 weeks, and with Kendrick Perkins out for Oklahoma City as well since February 22 with knee problems of his own, Celtics Nation has to wonder: is it possible Boston got the better end of the recent trade? Did Danny Ainge totally blindside the Thunder and make possibly one of the best deals at the trade deadline?
Some people might still argue against it, but recently it’s been harder and harder to do that. Center Nenad Krstic has been playing extremely well, putting up numbers similar to those of Kendrick Perkins, and slowly but surely, Jeff Green is coming around to learn Boston’s system. As of right now, the Celtics have acquired something for nothing when people were ready to riot over the departure of Kendrick Perkins. But will Green and Krstic make sense in the long run? Or are we filling our hearts with false hope?
The trade was questionable at first, but all in all, it’s starting to look more and more like this was the best decision for the Celtics, even though it comes with seeing to fan favorites (Robinson and Perkins) leave town. Perkins already turned down what was probably the max offer the Celtics could offer him. He was most likely going to walk at the end of the season, or at least strongly consider it. And he was, and still is, injury prone.
Nenad Krstic has been a very pleasant surprise for Boston. Although not as defensively intimidating as Perkins, he’s a better scorer with a much wider range, and has been averaging 11 points and over 5 rebounds. Jeff Green hasn’t produced viable numbers just yet, but he is really starting to get accustomed to Boston’s system. And for a role player in OKC, he was a beast, averaging 15 points per game. There’s no doubt he’ll start to produce soon. The two new guys will be effective come playoff time. Perkins will be missed, as will Robinson, but with their recent health issues, maybe it was the best thing. Basketball is a business, after all.
While we can question Ainge’s other moves over the years, it seems like he may be setting up for the final piece of a new Big Three. Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen come off contract at the same time (in two years) that a certain all-star center does in Orlando. Perhaps the new big three a couple of years from now could be Rajon Rondo, Jeff Green, and….Dwight Howard, anyone?