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.
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.”
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 |