When it went down, Celtics fans were up in arms — Boston traded Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City mainly for Jeff Green. Danny Ainge’s name suddenly came with a new adjective for Boston fans, and it’s one we can’t repeat here.
Since then Boston has defended the trade and as Perkins’ production has slipped some of the anger dissipated.
Doc Rivers now admits it was a mistake.
Speaking to WEEI at a charity event in Boston this week, Rivers said he thought it was a mistake because it exposed Kevin Garnett more and hurt him.
“I think so,” reflected Rivers, “because we needed the toughness. The one thing we did by losing Perk was we removed Kevin’s protector. I didn’t think it was a coincidence that, after Perk left, that Kevin got into all those little flicks with the other teams. Perk deflected all that.”
After Boston made that trade they never got back to the NBA Finals, although there were a number of reasons from injuries to the rise of the Heat that caused Boston to fall short.
What’s done is done. However, there are still remnants of the deal — it will be interesting to see how Jeff Green does this season with a lot more responsibility on his shoulders.
Oklahoma City hasn’t loved the deal either as Perkins’s play has deteriorated. However, Perkins may have a renewed role in Oklahoma City as they try to get back to the Finals and have to face teams like Memphis and now Houston with some big front lines. Perkins isn’t much use to OKC against a team like Miami that plays small (nor is he much use on offense), but he has a role as a defender against traditional centers.