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Ainge: Celtics Were Great Even Without Perkins


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…”


Ainge also did an interview with CSNNE. Here’s the video:

  • Ryan DeGama

    RT SherrodbCSN A. Sherrod Blakely
    The mourning process is in full effect inside the #Celtics locker room. Silence is the dominant sound. These guys are seriously hurting.

    • I_Love_Green

      Reading that is just depressing.

    • james patrick

      haha i wasn't calling you an idiot. btw. ainge. lol

  • James Patrick

    YOU IDIOT! this is what you give us? Do you hear the fans? We're pissed! Shaq will never be 100% and Jermaine O'Neal is a bust.

    You know KG is pissed. Gotta wonder if Green and Krstic are up for it. They're about to get mentally beat up.

    Such a horrible last second move. Ainge you blew it.

  • Jeremy

    I wonder if this hurts Ainge's reputation long term or not..whether free agents would want to come here knowing the GM could move them just as quickly as he signs them.

    • Bast

      Is it any different than any other team?

      So, we traded Perk who's been here for years, and suddenly you're going to equate this to a player who quickly as he signs he's traded? Please.

  • John Evans

    Perkins' defense and grit was a big part of the C's success. I don't give a damn who they put in the middle, no one can breed the toughness and hard work that Perkins brought to this team, Green and Krystic better bust their asses here in Boston. Thank you for all you've done Perk, you're as great of a person as you are a player, you've only been gone a few hours but we miss you already, no one will be able to scowl and draw technical fouls the way you did. On a serious note though, we miss you Perk, kick ass in OKC and we hope to see you in Celtic green one day(if you ever find it in your heart to forgive us for what happened).

    • Bast

      No it wasn't. Perk hasn't played at all this season. Without him we've still been one of the top teams defensively. We're getting a huge improvement defensively, and getting just marginally weaker defensively, if we get weaker at all.

  • bcal

    Do you people not remember Perkins declined to sign a contract extension and we were going to lose him via free agency cause we cant afford him!

  • ryan

    I wonder what the environment will be when Krstic and Green arrive

  • Slush

    Guys, Perkins turned down the extension at the start of the season… Its better to get something in return than nothing.. Plus a top 10 draft pick is pretty good….

    • dslack

      He's worth more than the extension he was offered. Turning it down was the right decision.

  • Akj

    Didn’t have to be a dick about it though..

  • lowfatalbob

    Don't buy the spin that the c's couldn't afford to resign perk, current cba rules restricted the max amount the c's could offer, had they allowed perk to get to free agency they could've paid him much more that what was previously offered because they have his bird rights, same thing with glen davis.

    I find it rather duplicitous to say they can't afford Perk, but then trade for a restricted free agent who is due a healthy raise and also have to pay glen davis after the season.

    It sounds like Danny didn't want to commit brenden haywood $$$ to perk, forecasting how limited he might be without the big three around him. Jeff Green is a very talented player who will hopefully flourish with the c's.

    I like Danny as a gm, and I respect hard basketball decisions, but I'm not a fan of the his spin after controversial moves.

    • hoopkala

      Don't really trust Ainge that much (don't trust a lot of GMs and that's why in some ways I think it is great that players have the power to create situations to play with people they want… Lebron, Melo, etc.)

      Ainge was reacting and calling out Rondo publically. He is a bit of a hot head. Seems like a hot headed move based on Perk on signing an extension. Perk does deserve more than the $22M offer and even though he is now saying we are good without Perk (with Shaq and Jermaine, etc) are they going to be good without him in 2 years. Would you not want Perk (one of the best available defensive Cs in the league) 2-3 years down the road. Who will you have in his place???

      Seriously, because managers do crap like this I think completely support players having more control over where they play.

    • Bast

      It would be very foolish to overpay Perk to keep him here. He's a one dimensional player, you don't spend that kind of money on someone like him when many of our players are soon going to retire.

  • newyorkceltics

    It's not a top 10 draft pick until TWO THOUSAND AND SIXTEEN. It's lottery protected until then.
    2016. Versus getting a championship in June. Screw Danny Ainge.

    • I_Love_Green

      If its out of the top ten, we have it. But if it isn't, then we'll have to wait until then.

  • @**#

    Perks extension that was offered was the max I believe they could have offered (only a 20% increase from the current contract). It makes them a better team today and for the future. Baby usually played 4th quarter anyways and now we don't have to burn out PP or KG. There are no Hakeems or Kareems at the center spot in this NBA so besides being a help defender we don't need a center to stop anyone one on one. We have a good defensive big in KG. Dwight Howard is not going for 40 or even 30 points. We just need to keep him off the boards, which hopefully we can find someone to do that. Perk is hard to lose tho. 8 years is a long time.

  • Easy G

    Is it wise to have made all of the offseason moves this past summer to perserve a championship team only to worry about whether one player will re-sign at the end of this season? You don't break up the starting five of a 41-14 team (best in the East) that has never been beaten in the NBA playoffs when all were healthy. I doubt Doc was really supportive of this move. Ainge could lose his job over this one.

    • Ryan DeGama

      There is no chance whatsoever that Ainge loses his job over this move.

  • skeeds

    My biggest concern is that the Celtics have just layed their chance of a title on Shaq's health. I see Krstic as an upgrade over Erden, a very decent big, who can crack the rotation in the playoffs, (while Semih wouldn't). And the Celtics weren't good without Perk, they were good when the season was young, Shaq was fresh, and they had Perk coming back. What this will do for the team's chemistry could be fatal.

    Ainge and Doc have basically figured that they can live with having 3 of Shaq, J.O., Baby and Krstic healthy and sharing the load at 5. They trust Baby at the 5, truth is he's trustworthy allright. They'd rather keep Perk and give any 2 of those I'm sure, but that was the trade that worked. I think it's too big a risk.

    If this wasn't a business, I'd put my head on the line that Ainge made a deal to sign Perk back with all he's shed with these trades. Perk is the kind of guy who'd sacrifice for staying in Boston. But we just cut a beast loose. In a team in desperate need of a defensive leader, with a young core, allready very powerfull in the West, Perk is gonna fit in just fine. The OKC will love him. And offer him the chance to be a contender for years. Durant and Westbrook are still practically teenagers…

  • Zee

    Like I said in another post, I trust Danny on this one. The lines of business and personal can be thin at times, and now is such a time. But a business decision is usually always for the best. I believe this will play out well. I'm optimistic. We just need to get over this emotional hurdle. I believe we'll be fine. I really do. I don't think losing Perk will overshadow the lost for the title last season, and it will still serve as our fuel to remain focused and poised to win it all.

  • jeffery6803

    perk was worth 8 t0 9 million a year ainge should have payed the guy perk has always been a celtic never cared about any franchise but this one these guys are his family we had bird rights at the end of the season we could have signed him for more giving him a total of 8 mill per season hurts to hear of perk crying as he left we watched perked grow from high schooler scared to shoot clutch free throws in the indiana series to the man he is now let`s be honest when you think of loyal celtics you think of bird ,mchale,parish perk guys who never wanted to play anywhere else ainge might be a good gm but he is not a true celtic he was never about team and left as soon as he could for more money never liked him now i just hate that the celtics have this clown from a kid to a man i`ve watched perk grow now i have to see him leave this has been the worst couple of weeks i can remember in a long time 2 harddrive failures no backups lost all my data and pics and ainge just to piss on a bad week traded the guy that i love as much as any celtic in recent years never was crazy about pierce but loved everything about perk him and kg where like twins out there how could you do this ainge but the answer is you where never loyal so you have no idea how to repay loyalty i hope we can still win a title but i hope you retire or get fired i doesn`t matter which i`m just totally sickened by this

  • hoopkala

    Posted this earlier, but might fit here better, especially in regard to the conversation about re-signing Perk. As I say below, you also have to resign Green… who would you rather have????


    Don't understand the perkins thing at all. the celtics are the best team in the league on the offensive end (best shooting pct.) so it can't be a defense vs. offense trade. Green is also coming up on a contract year, so are they thinking of paying him what they wouldn't pay Perk??? Perk is harder to replace that Green would be. Even if Rasheed/Murphy/Powe are being brought in, they could have moved Daniels, Erden etc. to clear up the roster space. None of it makes sense. Did Ainge just have a reactionary move based on Perk not signing an extension????

    The only reason that makes sense is to clear cap room to get people in 2012… but really, sacrifice a run at the title this year for 2012? and Perk would be a good person to keep regardless, unless you are making a run at Dwight in 2012. Unless they get Dwight this would make no sense. They wouldn't want to grab Paul or DWill… who else is in that class?

    • Ryan DeGama

      This doesn't take in all of our points but the Celtics are a mediocre offensive team. 13th in the league in efficiency….

      • Ryan DeGama

        "your points"

        • hoopkala

          mostly due to turn overs. they have the best shooting pct. in the league.

  • Tom W

    except we don't know if his bird rights would have still been present in the new CBA

    • dslack

      There will still be Bird Rights. One of the complaints of the owners is that they lose their players too much. Bird Rights help them keep players.

  • Batman

    Chris Johnson is a long skinny man

  • Zee

    Gotta admit, this bench looks pretty good and energetic on the court! I like that!

  • lakershater13

    WOW. Johnson with 4 points and 2 blocks. HE MADE BOTH FTS. Our center made both fts. WOOO. Who misses perk now?

    • Batman

      dude calm down
      its too soon
      although CJ does give us good energy

      • Batman

        or if u were trying to be optimistic then YEA CHRIS JOHNSON

  • lakershater13

    I miss perk a ton. You have to be optimistic in a time like this. I dont mean to sound like someone died.

    • Batman

      Yea i know
      read the second part of my comment

  • Bill

    Can't say I didn't see this coming, especially in Nate-rob's case. Will miss Perk's toughness, and his passion.

    … on the other hand, Celts have managed to earn an amazing record thus far without much contribution from either of those guys. New blood is scary, but let's see what happens before we go calling for Ainge's head on a platter.

  • Tos

    One point I haven’t seen made that may have played a part in the Perk trade was that since Danny didn’t believe he’d be able to resign him, he was able to trade him to one of the two other teams that wanted him… Thus allowing OKC to resign him and keep him away from East teams next year such as Miami. I’m not saying this was the reason, or even part of it but it’s certainly an added bonus.

    I wish nothingbut the best for Perk. He’ll do great over there, that’s for sure.

  • I_Love_Green

    Refs really really lettin the nuggets bang the Celtics around.

    • Zee

      Yeah, they letting our boys get all kinds of hard hits. I've seen A LOT!

  • kricky

    PP just mugged inside on that last drive. And no flagrant on KG getting shoved into the stands?

    • Batman

      well…..he was acting man

  • Tos

    Powe just got bought out! Let’s get him C’s! Avery might be a good time to pick a new number!

  • Cos

    A few points that I would love for one of the writers to figure out.

    After quis went down everyone and their grandmothers knew we needed another 3. I was saying in the preseason that we needed another 3 but thats besides the point. It was obvious we need a 3 and we were just waiting to figure out if it would be a trade or cut, who would be coming and who would be going.

    Now, an Ainge quote from above…

    "I think we’d like a wing player, either a great shooter or a defender…"

    Quotes from Ainge from above on…

    “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.”

    -I don't think anybody is really confident in Jermaine being healthy and playing 15-20min per.

    Now another quote from Ainge…

    "We would like to shore up our frontline."

    So, in essence, we went into this deadline in the last week needing a 3. And after the deadline, ainge says we could use another 3. we lose Perk, and get Kristic, and ainge says we could use some more frontline help.

    Combine that with the knowledge that if we are to win the championship we need to beat at lease 3 of Miami, Orlando, Chicago, San Ant, and Lakers. Also knowing that Miami is going to go HARD after perk at the end of the season, and you know riley is not only going to tout the 3 musketeers, but also tweak Perk to sign with Miami to get back at Boston. You know riley would/will do this.

    Now add in reports that Perk turned down 22 mil over 4 years, and was looking for 30 in 4 (I would say he's worth more that that).

    Knowing all that, how in the world does any of this trade make sense? My opinion, the deadline was closing in and someone forgot to take the 30,000 foot view of the situation. Really shortsighted trade, especially since the Celts were the favorites to win this year. They still might win it all, but the odds just got a whole lot tougher this year and for the future.

    I've been on this blog for years, and I'd really love to hear one of the writes try to decipher the double sided quotes from DA.

    • Dropstep

      I would like to hear opinions on it too. It seems as if he is saying that we came out of this trade needing the things we were supposed to get in the trade. Pointless. Honestly, I'm willing to let it play out and remain hopeful but if they were planning to free up three roster spots by trading Semih, Harangody and Quis, why did we have to trade Perk?

      • cos

        I agree with that. Somethings is not right with this.

        -They lose a starting 5 and get back a bench 3/4.
        -Celts lose a back up 1/2 and get a back up 5. (thats based on DAs remarks that Shaq should be starting. And I think everyone would agree Perk is a better starting 5 than Kristic).
        -You salary dump 3 bench players for open spots. (you could have done this without the need to trade perk).

        And I have a hard time believing the "we can't pay him" line. There's a new CBA coming where everyone seems to agree that salaries are going to come down, as well as possibly contract lengths. As a free agent, the Celts held the cards. They had the leverage. The CBA is/was so frightening to players that Melo was determined to get moved so he can sign an extension. And if Perk ended up leaving, we could have always done a sign and trade for picks/players, or gone for the trade exception.

        DAs comments dont sync with each other and with the reality of the situation. Along with my comments above that I think the deadline pressure got the better of him, I think DA just took one big step backwards from the competing for the championship and one big step towards blowing the whole team up. In a championship year no less.

    • Anthony

      How in the world will Miami have enough money to go after Perk? And if Perk was that spiteful to sign for less to play with Miami, then all these emotional comments are useless.

      Not really trying to back up DA's comments but what's he supposed to say? "I made a mistake"?

      Not saying its a great trade but only time will tell. Not trying to downplay Perk, but he's only the player he is because he was playing with the Big 4.

  • guest

    Well we just lost to the nuggetts, hope DA's proud of himself and Pierce I think you should on to the ball ball more then turn it over more and brick more shots, kthnxbye

  • lakershater13

    Is it just me or did we bring West to boston to close games because rondo cant shoot? I thought that was the plan and with West shooting so well late in the game why not have him in there?

  • celticfan

    well thanks to Danny Ainge's we lost.. knowing we were short on guys he traded semih. stupid stupid.. left us short on guys but did he care hell no. still go out there and play. you can kiss number #18 banner good bye. Danny you suck

  • DBro

    Danny Ainge is so right when he points out that one of the Celtics biggest problems is that they suffer offensive droughts at key times in winnable games, and this trade should really help them by bringing in much greater firepower in Green and Krstic. Giving up too many rebounds wasn't the only thing that cost the Celtics Game 7 against the Lakers last year, it was the complete inability to score in the fourth quarter due to a stagnant offense. I look forward to that trend changing!

    • Mike

      It won't do any good because Rondo takes too much time with the ball in his hand and then doens't move and dumps the ball with 5scs left, Pierce handles the ball way too much and doesn't pass or score so I don't see how Green or Krstic are gonna change that.
      And seriously after that performance, couldn't have Davis been traded instead and Perkins kept…..wtf

  • Zee

    RIGHT NOW MY MIND IS THAT THIS WAS THE DUMBEST TRADE AINGE COULD'VE MADE!!!!!!!!! GET PERKINS BACK ASAP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    A 16-0 RUN???????????? 14 POINT MARGIN???????????????

    WHAT WAS AINGE THINKING???????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • guest

      3rd seed here we go…. pfffffff……

  • kricky

    Slaughtered on the boards tonight 52-38.

  • Zee

    Perkins was that one and only piece that made the Celtics Voltron with our starting five. We fought to get him back, and then drop him???? Is the ring more important or the money? If you win the title, you'll get the money!!!!!!!!!! ARGH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • john schaffer

    nate is gone , see delonte is there , wafer is there , now start playing avery

  • JenG

    I've literally spent all day bummed out about this trade. And I don't care what Danny says, it wasn't a smart move. I'd rather have Perk, who's proven on a championship level, young, and tough, instead of 2 (way) past their prime centers (who are constantly battling injuries), a mediocre center, and a power forward "playing" center. You know, because Danny really hit the jackpot with the KG/Allen trades a few years back, we have all forgotten that he's made some really STUPID decisions in the past, which made everyone question him as a GM. Well, I'm back to that point. And if we lose the championship this year, HE is the one to blame and no one will convince me differently.

    • Mike


  • Go Celtics

    This trade is a big win for the C's.
    I watched Krstic play in NJ for 3+ years- the kid is very tough, doesn't back down, and right now is a clear upgrade over Erden. He is an excellent shooter and FT shooter. He is only a slight liability against guys like Howard and Bynum. And he's 27. Oh, and 7 feet, 2 inches taller than Perk.
    I will not agree with any assessment that Perk is vastly better than Krstic. As a pure basketball player Krstic is better. As a muscle oriented defender, Perk is better obviously, and yes that is important, but that's it.
    Seems about 60-70-% of Boston fans are not happy with this trade- I don't blame anyone for that. The Celts have established a nice team identity with Perk, he is a great guy and I wish him the best.
    Jeff Green from what I hear is a real good kid and hard worker- just check out his You tube highlights, like the 3 full-court LeBron-style fast-break rejections…
    Or the blink-and-you'll-miss-it baseline dunk on, ahem, Perk??
    Everyone including me has assumed all year we need to just gear up for the Lakers, as if teams like Chicago, Orlando, and especially Miami will be a breeze. All these teams plus the NY Knicks are based on speed, skill and finesse more than raw size and power like the Gasol-Bynum LA front line.
    Jeff Green will give us a much better chance against these teams, especially coming off the bench. Perhaps aside from Rondo, Green is now the Celts' most athletic player, and he's 6'9", and he will work his ass off for Doc and KG.
    The last 3+ years I've remarked how great it would have been to not lose Delonte West and Jeff Green in the Ray Allen deal. Well, now they are here, with the C's big All-star 4 still in tact, and with Shaq coming back. Shaq and Jermaine and Krstic will be a fine 1990's Bulls-style 3-headed center.
    Can you imagine The 1986-87-88 Celts having a Jeff Green and krstic off the bench?
    # 18 is coming this year. It will be an exciting ride

    • Mariya

      You are very optimistic.

  • Anthony

    I understand that everyone is upset about losing Perk but suppose the trade doesnt happen… what's the likelihood that they will lose Pierce to injury or just playing too many mins? They have nobody to back-up Pierce. Nobody!

    The Celts had no trading chips. The biggest mistake they made was in the summer when they sign Jermaine, not trading Perk.

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