UPDATE: See second Ainge video interview after the jump.
Danny Ainge was on WEEI tonight, talking about his deadline moves. The fast and dirty highlights:
Ainge said an inability to re-sign Perkins played more into the trade decision than any future concerns about injuries but neither were the determining factors. He thought the team got better as a result of the trades and that was why he made them.
On Perk’s injuries: “Kendrick has had a history of injuries but it seems like he’s recovered. I think that Kendrick will be fine long term.”
On Perk’s contract: “We offered him all that we could offer him and he wasn’t interested in doing a contract extension. That was a concern. But it wasn’t so much of a concern that we would have done something for that purpose.”
Ainge felt the team had more bigs than necessary. “It was gonna be tough to play all those guys and keep them happy. Our team was playing great in the absence of Kendrick. We feel like we have a lot of centers and we have great confidence that Shaq and Jermaine will be healthy [come the playoffs] and Krstic is probably more healthy than any of them.” Ainge went on to note that Jermaine’s progress in his rehab was “fantastic.”
On Shaq as starting center: “The numbers show that Shaq has been better with our starters. I do worry about him coming off the bench, just because of his age and because it takes him a while to get loose.”
Ainge said Perkins was not the only one who broke down today. “We shed some tears today talking to Perk. It was tough. We agonized over it, both Doc and I. It was a very, very difficult decision to make.” He also acknowledged the other players were emotional about Perk’s departure but that he had confidence they’d give Green and Krstic fair chance to show what they could do.
Ainge offered a lot of (rather generic) praise for Green. “I think he can play the four, the three, he defends multiple positions, he can shoot the three ball, he can post up smaller guys, he’s a terrific passer. He brings length and athleticism to our team.”
Ainge on the three open roster spots and potential buyout targets: “I think we’d like a wing player, either a great shooter or a defender. We would like to shore up our frontline. We would possibly even look for another guard but that’s probably the least of it. We may fill all three or we may just fill two.”
On Semih: “I’m not sure how much help he would have been to us this year [because of his injuries].”
On whether the moves were made to better match up with other teams: “Everything we do, we have an eye on Miami and Chicago and Orlando, San Antonio and the Lakers…”