Celtics Doc Rivers: Timing of Perkins Trade Wasn't Great


ESPN Boston

"I would wait until after the year was over. I'll put it that way," Rivers told Boston sports radio WEEI (850 AM). "I do think Jeff Green has a chance to be a starter for us in the future and a hell of a basketball player, and [Nenad] Krstic can help, but making that trade at the time we made that trade, that made it very tough for us. And not only that, we added other pieces as well that we tried to fit in, so it was just a lot of moving parts to a team that the advantage that we had was that we had continuity, everybody else was new. Chicago was new and the Heat were new. They couldn't fall back on what we could fall back on with our starting five, and once we made that trade, we took that advantage away."

Well there you have it. Finally one of the Celtics decision makers admits the trade didn't work. I always knew that Doc was being a good soldier having Danny's back publicly defending the trade.

People complain that we're still talking about the Perkins trade months later, but the fact is everyone is talking about it. Danny is talking about it. Doc is talking about it. Perk asks reporters what happened in Boston. It's a major story line of the 2010-2011 basketball season. The Thunder are still in the playoffs and the Celtics are not. The #1 seeded Bulls showed the Heat last night what home court advantage, chemistry, and an abundance of big men could do. The Celtics were that #1 seed when they made the trade. After the trade, the Bulls (and Heat) were able to tighten their chemistry with the guys they had since training camp, while the Celtics were in flux. No surprise that both teams past us.

It's nice to hear Doc admit the trade was a mistake. It amazes me how fans that were pro-trade just blindly kept their position. They said we didn't need Perk, because we had Shaq. When Shaq wasn't able to play, you'd think they'd come around. Nope. Instead they blamed Doc for not playing Jeff "Butterfingers Len Bias" Green enough. Wasn't it obvious that Green was not ready for intense playoff basketball? He wasn't ready last season versus the Lakers and that's why the Thunder were willing to move him.

Well whatever. I'm sure even with Doc's statements today the pro-trade people will continue to insist it was a good move. But I said at the time that I wouldn't have had a problem with the trade if they waited until this Summer. Even Perk's biggest backer, flceltsfan, said the same. Nice to hear Doc echo those sentiments. It's not every season you're a favorite to win the title. You don't mess that up. Especially when your core guys are at the end of the line and you might not have as good a chance for many many years. I'm sure pretty Doc (privately) was against the deal at the time, but couldn't throw Danny or the new guys under the bus. Doc knows how to win and I'm glad he'll be here for another 5 seasons. I'm also glad that new 5 year contract gave Doc the freedom to let the truth out on the trade.


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