Next time you see Perk in the club he will be doing the Thunder Clap
I was away from a computer and Twitter during the final one and a half to two hours before the trade deadline of 2 PM Central Time. When I was finally reconnected with the world of nonstop communication and media my partner here at the Beef sent me this text message, “Bunch of nuts trades went down.” I quickly scrambled to refresh my timeline only to be completely shocked. He was not kidding.
Boston and Oklahoma City
The Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder have orchestrated a deal that sends center Kendrick Perkins to the Thunder along with Nate Robinson in exchange for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic.
This season, Perkins has struggled with injury missing much of the season coming off surgery to his right knee. He has only played in 12 games thus far and is expected to be out for a week again with a sprain in the medial collateral ligament in his left knee. Nonetheless, Oklahoma City got the big man they have been craving since they were ousted by the Los Angeles Lakers in the first round of the playoffs last season.
Currently, the Thunder sit just two and a half games behind the Lakers, who are in third, in the Western Conference standings. This move is clearly a shot at the defending champs who were quiet as the deadline passed. Now the Thunder have a big man who can and has matched up well against the Lakers should the two teams meet again in the playoffs.
On the Celtics end, the trade means that the team has given up all hope of ever beating the Lakers again. Doc Rivers has always said that the Lakers can never beat his starting five when they are all healthy. Now, they have traded away the key member of the starting five that allowed Rivers to make those claims in the first place.
Jeff Green is having his second best scoring season of his short career. His numbers are bound to slip upon his return to Boston, the Celtics drafted him, as he will be placed in a bench role instead of being a starter. However, with it becoming more apparent that Marquis Daniels will likely miss the rest of the season, it was important for Boston to add another reserve perimeter player to their lineup as they coast into the playoffs.
As presently constructed the Celtics’ center rotation looks like a grab bag of hobbled old pieces from formerly great teams that made the NBA Finals in the early 2000s…because it is. Shaquille O’Neal, Jermaine O’Neal, and Krstic are all liabilities. Boston clearly must have realized that Miami has a terrible center rotation so they could trade their one good piece away and still compete in the East.
Oklahoma City and Charlotte
The Thunder also made another move to bolster their frontcourt depth before the trade deadline. In a trade with the Charlotte Bobcats, the Thunder acquired Nazr Mohammed in exchange for Morris Peterson and D.J. White (we do not know who he is either).
Charlotte and Portland
In another cost cutting measure from Michael Jordan, the Bobcats have traded versatile defender Gerald Wallace to the Portland Trail Blazers. In return the Bobcats will receive two first round draft picks. Hopefully, Jordan will not squander these draft picks as he has in the past.
Initially, Charlotte had been making a push to acquire Nicolas Batum as part of this trade but the Blazers insisted that he was not on the table at anytime during negotiations. Instead, the team settled for Joel Przybilla and Dante Cunningham (no relation to Richie).
The acquisition of Wallace gives the Blazers a lockdown wing and post defender capable of guarding and playing multiple positions. However, Wallace does not like playing power forward any longer and prefers to play small forward. Luckily for Portland that should not be an issue as they have a capable, to say the least, power forward in LaMarcus Aldridge.
For now, though, the waiting game begins. It is only a matter of time before the curse of the Blazers digs its claws into Wallace, or rather his knees. No one wants to see it happen but there is just something rotten in the water up there.
Phoenix and Houston
Aaron Brooks has had some issues with the Houston Rockets this season. That is putting it lightly. As a result, he is no longer a member of the Rockets. Houston shipped Brooks to the Phoenix Suns in exchange for Goran Dragic and a first round draft pick.
Dragic made a name for himself in last years playoffs but has failed to follow up that success with any kind of consistent production as he is shooting a mere 27.7 percent from behind the arc. Yuck.
Houston and Memphis
Can anyone legitimately explain this trade? I mean seriously. Houston needs size in their frontcourt but generally speaking just having a tall guy there does not really mean a whole lot (see: Shawn Bradley). The Rockets traded the defensive minded Shane Battier for the absent-minded Hasheem Thabeet. Yes, the same Thabeet that was the highest draft pick to ever be sent to the D-League.
Well done Houston, only you could think of pairing Yao Ming and Thabeet on the same team. Well done. General Manager Daryl Morey generally does a good job about acquiring talent for his ball club but this has to be the singular low point in Rockets history. However, not all is lost. Houston will also receive a first round draft pick from the Grizzlies. The Rockets also sent Ishmael Smith (who?) to Memphis in the deal.
As for Memphis, they get a proven defender in the wake of losing Rudy Gay, who will be out for at least another three weeks with a dislocated shoulder. The team is gearing up for a playoff push as they sit in the final playoff seat in the West. A veteran like Battier will likely serve as a key contributor and locker room presence as the team looks to make the playoffs for the first time since the 2005-06 season.