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Your Morning Dump… Speculation about James Harden & the Perk trade

Chuck - Red's Army May 15, 2011 Uncategorized 14 Comments

Harden

Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there's nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.

Simmons: You look at the Celtics, and people are looking around, 'Can I trust Jeff Green? Can I trust Krstic?' Like, down the line, we didn't know who to trust on that team. Oklahoma City has enough guys, I think, to go into a battle.

Grande: Well, I'll tell you something, maybe you knew it, maybe you didn't. I don't think it's been said publicly, but Harden was in that conversation.

Simmons: I've written it once. That was the initial trade.

Grande: It was the initial trade, and I didn't know if you had written it or not. When you write 5,000 words, who has time?

Simmons: I think I mentioned it. I don't think I came out and reported it, but yeah, that was the initial trade.

Grande: Yeah, Harden was the name. When I first heard about it, it was Harden. It wasn't Jeff Green, and it was kind of an interesting thing at the time.

Simmons: [The Thunder] went a little bit down the road with Harden and Perkins, which surprises a lot of people in the league, because nobody thought [Thunder GM Sam] Presti would even consider trading Harden, and ultimately he didn't. But that was how it advanced, and at some point he decided Harden must have done something in some game or maybe he just decided it was a panic trade or wasn't the time yet, pulled out, and tried to substitute Green in the trade, and that's what led to Krstic getting involved, and then Nate Robinson and the Clippers pick and eventually it got to where it was. It seemed to me like Danny [Ainge] had his heart set on making a trade when that Harden thing fell through. Instead of just saying, 'Ah, it fell through,' he kind of pushed forward with it. Maybe that's what the danger was there.

Grande: Well, and [Ainge] always liked Jeff Green.

ESPN Boston – Did the Celtics covet James Harden?

In the days after the trade, I recall reading that the Celtics coveted James Harden (I can't remember the source). Why it's a story now… when no one cared three months ago is puzzling.

It's possible Danny Ainge offered Kendrick Perkins for James Harden straight up. Was this the version Doc Rivers vetoed? Or did OKC balk? We'll never know.

Despite being overhyped by many sports bloggers on Twitter, Harden is a good player. Tough on defense and can hit the three. But his shooting percentage is low (43%) and he's foul prone (see John Hollinger's scouting report).

Would I have approved the Perk for Harden deal? That's a tough call. Harden fits the mold that Danny needed for the bench – tough defender who can shoot the 3. But part of the reason I accepted the Perkins trade was the inclusion of Nenad Krstic. Stop laughing. He averaged 9 ppg and 5.4 rpg and then fell into Doc's abyss on the bench. And isn't this in the baskeball bible – Thou shalt not trade a big, without receiving a big in return?

On Page 2, Nads is open to a return.

“I want to come back here,” he said. “Obviously I want to see what my options are, but I definitely like the organization and I like the team. If you ask me, yes, but I don’t know if they want me.”

“We’re interested in bringing him back,” the Celtics general manager said. “He played great when he first got here, and then he hit a little slump. He wasn’t playing well for a while, and then he got hurt. He had the bruised knee. We were worried it was something worse. It seemed that anyone playing center for us got hurt.

“He never got his starting job back after he got hurt, and then he got hurt again on the other knee. So he had two bruised knees. He was finally healthy by the time the Miami series started, but by then Jermaine was playing really well defensively for us, and Doc was trying to get (Glen Davis’) confidence back, and was trying to get something out of Baby that we had the first half of the season. In the last game Krstic was back, ready and contributing.”

Herald – Nenad Krstic keen on staying

Nads doesn't help the Celtics in the athleticism department, an area that needs drastic improvement. I like what he brings on the offensive end. Do I want to see a Jermaine O'Neal and Nads tandem at center next season? No. But if JO retires and the Celtics can bring in another athletic big, then I would like to see Nads coming off the bench.

The rest of the links:

ESPN Boston – Summer of uncertainty (CBA talk) | What went wrong vs Miami | Ainge: Cs should have been up on Heat | Herald – Rondo ready to step up | Cs can't make a deal until CBA resolved | Enterprise – Transition lies ahead for Big 3 |

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/jdotd JdotD

    Jeff Green trade was MUCH better. If it was Harden for Perk we’d still have Nate (who would be doing exactly the same thing as Harden, scoring) and still nobody to back Pierce up but a FA or buyout bum. At least with the Green trade we got what we needed, rather than wanted and didn’t need. And we got rid of Nate too..

  • http://profile.typepad.com/viva2811 viva

    It is the story now, because they make it sounds like Danny wanted to get rid of Perk no matter what, and I don’t believe that’s the case. We really needed a wing, and maybe Danny wanted Jeff from the start, but didn’t ask cause he’s the player they got from us.
    Who knows, but more importantly, who cares?!
    If you ask me, that was a good trade, and I do not care what should’ve or should have not be. Time will tell, but one things for sure: It can’t be undone, so I can’t understand why obsessing over and over and over and over…

  • http://profile.typepad.com/viva2811 viva

    And that Herald story, about CBA, has a really stupid part about trading Rondo & Jeff. People, that ain’t happening.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/paulmkane2001 Paulmkane2001

    You are kidding, right? Harden is a difference maker off the bench, exactly what Nate was supposed to be and never was. An Green brought us nothing, except a POSSIBLE future successor to Pierce, ASSUMING improves drastically.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/paulmkane2001 Paulmkane2001

    You got it right about the significance of this information, assuming it’s true; Danny just wanted rid of Perkins.
    I find your justifications for The Trade fascinating. You say “time will tell”. Right. So the fact that Danny chose to disrupt a team that appeared to be on track for a championship is irrelevant?!!! Yes, of course it is, because if you didn’t rule it out as irrelevant, you would instantly see how insane The Trade was. Danny pissed off a potential championship for dubious FUTURE gains. Danny killed the bird in the hand for the bird in the bush. And you think that made sense. Right.
    At least you reveal just how nonsensical folks defending The Trade are.
    Oh, and I love your line about how we ‘needed a wing’. Sure. We did need a wing. And you are soooooo right; the only possible way to fix the hole on our bench WAS TO CREATE A MASSIVE HOLE IN OUR STARTING UNIT.
    The more you guys defend The Trade, the more you reveal just how insane it was

  • http://profile.typepad.com/paulmkane2001 Paulmkane2001

    Another big helping of Trade Shilling from Redsarmy. Yes, you know EXACTLY why this business about Harden matters, if it’s true: it means that Danny DIDN’T make The Trade because he wanted a wing, and that he DIDN’T make The Trade because he wanted Green. No, he wanted to get rid of Perkins. And why did he want that? Not for any reason that he could explain publically, which is why he’s been making up all kinds of faux reasons.
    And I just LOVE your line about how Krstic made you a believer in The Trade!!!! That truly is precious. Oh yes, one of the most forgettable quasi-centers in history made The Trade somehow seem not insane to you.
    Like I said, the more you guys shill for The Trade, the worse you make it sound.
    In fact, if Danny was actually going for Harden, that makes the whole thing much more plausible. Swapping Harden for Perkins would be a ridiculous gamble, but not an insane one. Harden actually could potentially have given us the punch off the bench that we so badly needed. While this still wouldn’t make blowing-off-our-starting-center -and-the-anchor-of-our-defense, while-screwing-up-our-team cohesion,-balance-and-ubuntu, -and-resetting -the-team’s-learning-curve-to-preseason, -on-the-verge-of-the-playoffs, in-the-midst-of-a-championship -hunt-one-was-leading anything remotely close to a reasonable proposition, it does raise it to the level of a wild-eyed gamble, instead of an insane one.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/viva2811 viva

    Darling, if the trade didn’t happened I’m not sure Paul would get through season, and if there’s going to be a hole in starting lineup, then I’d prefer the one at center, then the one at SF. But you missed my point, so let me repeat it
    WHO CARES NOW?!!!

  • http://profile.typepad.com/mannoperry Perry Manno

    The problem with the Harden rumor is the length of his contract (4yrs). Danny has been careful not extending contracts past next year. Green comports with that strategy.
    It’s probably unfair to say that Kristic was a mere throw in this deal, but the facts are the trade was never meant to compensate for Perk. Green for Perk was made for four major reasons …
    1- Perk turned down the max. offer Bos. could make. He was going to test the market and the Celts would get nothing in return.
    2- It would have been much easier to resign Davis anyway. The thinking behind it was based on his performance with the starters (33-15 +161), and they we’re winning with defense in Perk’s absence.
    3- They desperately needed a capable back up for PP going into the playoffs.
    4- They beleive Shaq was coming back.
    Of course Davis hit a wall. Danny gambled on Shaq and lost. But the script on JO’s return and contribution did play out with successful results. With that in mind we can’t expect JO to play a lions share of minutes should he decide not to retire. Kristic is not a starting center for a team aspiring to win a title, but would suffice as a capable back up. If Shaq retires (likely), they really have a pair of backups. Hence, they must use a S/T or MLE on a starting center. The best of the unrestricted: Chandler, Duncan, Nene, and Dalembert. Celts do not have the cap room to lure the first three names.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/licktheglassitol Classless

    Harden is more polished (even in his 2nd year) than Green. He would have been a better fit as a bench guy than Green, who was not a bench guy. The fact that Harden is already locked up for 4 years makes him even more appealing. Oh, and by the way, he’s chippy and has lots of balls (one of those irrational confidence guys Simmons talks about).
    Danny chose upside over common sense, which always gets GM’s in trouble.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115707360a6970b Coach Bo

    Funny stuff. Harden’s a better defender, hate his random chucking, though.
    Reality is starting to dawn on Presti and the Thunder kingdom – dumb old Scotty Brooks could have slid Ibaka into the starting lineup, used Green as his lead scorer with the second unit and rode Nazr and Kristc to a more efficient lineup.
    Instead, they’re paying $36 million for four points and six boards a night on one leg.
    The idea that Perkins equals 18 is unsupported by any objective analysis and is beyond stupid. The guy is dragging his leg down the floor and is contributing little or nothing to the Thunder.
    However, I did learn one thing listening to the TV dolts the other night, and I quote, “Perkins has helped the Thunder, statistics aside. He looks mean.”
    Well, damn, If looking mean equals stupid money, I need to work on my own glare.
    Bottom line: Neither team got what it wanted in the short-term from this trade. Going forward, I’m thrilled not to be wearing Perkins’ idiotic extension around our necks.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/rtcoaster Shawncvd

    Disagree. Perk and Nate were injured and Ainge managed to ship them out for healthy bodies and a future first round pick. Harden would create a log jam at guard instead of finding PP’s back up. That would mean Pav backing Truth.
    This season was lost to injuries.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/rtcoaster Shawncvd

    Your justification for being critical of the trade seems insane.
    This season was lost to a series of injuries culminating with JO’s wrist and Rondo’s elbow. Trade or no trade you really think the C’s could have gone all the way with out a healthy Rondo?
    There is no definitive right answer here. See Coach Bo below for how great Perk is doing. OKC now has a bad contract in Perk. Going forward Boston is more athletic and has more flexibility.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/rtcoaster Shawncvd

    Except OKC might have pulled Harden off the table so it’s not like it was Perk for Harden or the trade that was made.

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p01156f2d28d7970c BigMck

    Why is it those who oppose the trade and claim Danny’s moves busted up chemistry refuse to remember how bad the bench was? Nate sucked. Delonte was injured. Marquis suffered a season ending injury. Perk had just suffered another knee injury.
    Had nothing been done, you’d all be bitching about the lack of help off the bench and that it forced PP and Ray to play too many minutes.