NBA: What Does Losing Perkins, Gaining Green Mean for Celtics?

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CSNNE.com's A. Sherrod Blakely spoke to Perkins after the trade and shared some of their conversation on his twitter account.

"It's a business, but at the same time, I don't think anyone wants to get traded," Perkins told Blakely. "You never know what can happen. When it gets close to the deadline, it's like man, 'I hope it's not me.'"

This time it was Perkins.

After missing half of the season recovering from ACL/MCL surgery, he had just injured his other knee in a game Tuesday night against the Warriors. Perk was expected to miss the rest of Boston's road trip, but told ESPNBoston before the trade that he would try to be back for atleast one of the games. His reasoning? "I'm a Celtic, man."

It's a statement that's no longer true, and the trade changes the landscape of the Celtics' future. With Dwight Howard soon slated to become a free-agent, Boston has now become a major buyer with the open spot at center. Celticslife's Jesse Dampolo wrote earlier this month on the prospect of Howard donning green. Now, it's a very realistic thought.

The trade is a balance of present and future. It's a big 'if' but if the O'Neals can first become and then stay healthy, the Celtics would still remain title-contenders for this year. A lot more pressure has been put on Shaq to return to the starting lineup and follow-up on his impressive performance from the first half of the season.

Jeff Green gives the Celtics a productive player who will continue to contribute to the team after the Big Three have retired. If the Celtics can land Dwight Howard in free-agency, they'll continue to be a contender for years to come. This has to be what Ainge had in mind with this trade.

ESPN's MMA anchor, Jon Anik, had an interesting tweet:

"I trust Danny Ainge on a near-Belichick level," wrote Anik. "Seems like a day that balances present and future nicely. Gonna miss 43, though."

Recently, Patriots' coach Bill Belichick has been lauded in the NFL for being able to rebuild his team while at the same time remaining a contender. Belichick traded away fan favorites and core team members like Mike Vrabel, Randy Moss and Richard Seymour and still led his team to the best record in the NFL last season.

Whether Ainge's moves could be put on a similar level remains to be seen. However, while Perkins is a huge loss, the future cannot be ignored. As things stood before 3:00pm today the Celtics were an aging team built to win a title this season. After that was up in the air. Ainge isn't building a team that will just win one championship and fizzle out, he's also got to compete against franchises that will be in contention for many years to come. Teams like the Heat, Knicks and Bulls are going to be good beyond when Garnett, Pierce and Allen eventually retire. The Celtics will still have Rondo to build their franchise around, if they can add a piece like Green and score a star in the draft they will be able to stay relevant and avoid a 22 year drought like we saw before.

Ainge has made some huge moves that have likely hurt the Celtics in the present, but have given them the opportunity to improve in the future. It's something that stings for Boston fans right now, everyone will miss Perk's trademark scowl. Hopefully it works out in the end.