|Irish Coffee: Get over the Kendrick Perkins trade||03.01.11 at 11:51 am ET|
Wake up with the Celtics and your daily dose of Irish Coffee …
Five days after being traded from the Celtics, Kendrick Perkins and the Thunder brass have already agreed to terms on a contract extenion. Wait a second … WHAT?!?!
If you’ll recall, Perkins turned down a four-year, $22 million deal from the Celtics, and after trading the championship-winning center Celtics president Danny Ainge told us Perkins “really wanted to test the market and see what his value was.”
Apparently not. He just wanted a better offer, and the Celtics couldn’t give it to him. Their $22 million offer was the maximum they could allocate to him. They couldn’t have offered him four years and $34.8 million, which is what the Thunder did, according to Yahoo! Sports. A difference of $3.2 million per season is a big deal. Literally.
And it’s exactly why I’m an even bigger advocate of the Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic acquisitions than I already was. Is Perkins an $8.7 million a year player? Heck no.
As for the remaining Celtics, let’s all hope the veterans get over this “Whoa is me, Perk is gone” mentality that’s been fairly evident on and off the court. As CBS Sports columnist Ken Berger pointed out last week, it’s the Big Four’s $57 million worth of contracts next season that limited the Celtics’ offer to $22 million.
If they wanted Perkins for the remainder of this season and beyond, why didn’t Kevin Garnett, Rajon Rondo, Paul Pierce and Ray Allen offer up a total of $800,000 apiece per year over the next four seasons so Perkins could get his $35 million wish?
Never mind the fact that the Celtics got the best player in the deal (Green) and another guy (Krstic) who gives you comparable numbers to Perkins for a player who was obviously never going to sign in Boston this summer.
You miss Perkins off the court? Fine, I get it. Call him. Text him. Whatever floats your boat. You miss Perkins on the court? Get over it. You were 33-10 without him, and you beat the Heat, Bulls, Lakers and Spurs in his absence.
And now you’re adding Green and Krstic to that group. Krstic is a better offensive talent than Perkins. I refuse to debate that issue. And Garnett was/is the heart of the Celtics defense. Not Perkins. How many people lauded Perkins’ defensive presence in 2006-07, when they ranked 18th in the league in points allowed?
Perkins wanted to sign elsewhere, and he’s gone. Now we can all get over it.
BIG THREE BONANZA
There’s a theory floating around that because the NBA’s superstars are forming super squads, the NBA, its small-to-mid market teams and their fans will suffer as a result — and it all stemmed from the Celtics in 2007.
To that, I say rubbish.
Yahoo! Sports reporter Marc J. Spears captured this theory in a recent piece, and here’s what one of those NBA supertars, Chris Bosh, said:
“The Celtics laid the blueprint for everything, and it showed that you can be successful with three superstar guys. I know a lot of people were kind of skeptical when they first came together on how it would work out. Was the ball big enough for them? They proved they can they can play together and put the ego aside as a team.”
Let’s get one thing straight. The Celtics might have started this trend, but it wasn’t in 2007. Trying to build championship teams around superstars is nothing new. The 1956-57 Celtics had seven Hall of Famers, and somehow the NBA has survived since.
Maybe the 26-year-old Bosh should brush up on his league history, as C’s coach Doc Rivers did in the same piece:
“There were three teams [in the 1980s], and that was it. There were the Lakers, the Celtics and maybe the Sixers. Other than that, every year you felt like as a kid, ‘When are the Lakers and Celtics going to start the Finals?’
Rivers grinned. “I’m hoping,” he said, “that is true this year as well.”
As for whether or not the small-to-middle markets will suffer, I don’t buy that, either. The 76ers and Warriors rank in the nation’s top five television markets. How many superstars do they have on their rosters? Meanwhile, the Heat is the 16th-largest TV market, San Antonio is 37th and Oklahoma City is 45th. How are those teams doing?
BILL WALTON’S BREAKTHROUGH
Listening to Bill Walton talk about basketball on Celtics broadcasts, you’d never think he could lose his zest for life. Apparently, four years ago, he nearly did.
Prior to his appearance as the keynote speaker for a fundraising luncheon, Walton and Arizona Republic columnist Paola Boivin discussed what led to his involvement with Florence Crittenton, a shelter for at-risk girls.
In a fascinating piece, we learn orthopedic spinal failure forced Walton to eat lying down on his stomach, lose massive amounts of sleep and even consider suicide.
Walton: “The nerve pain was like sitting in a vat of scalding acid. I spent two-and-a-half years on the floor. My life was over.”
After 35 orthopedic surgeries, an eight-hour surgery and a lenghy rehab Walton was walking again. Throughout, he drew inspiration from fascinating stories that flowed from the Florence Crittenton shelter.
Walton: “I really am one of the luckiest guys in the world. Most of my dreams have come true. When I heard about Florence Crittenton, I was staggered, inspired, honored, humbled and saddened. It’s our duty and responsibility to help those who just want one dream to come true.”
HITTING THE LINKS
Marc Stein on Troy Murphy (via ESPN.com) …
Highly coveted free agent Troy Murphy is signing with the Boston Celtics.
Murphy told ESPN.com via e-mail that he has chosen to join the Celtics after spending much of the past 48 hours agonizing between Boston and the Miami Heat since reaching buyout terms with the Golden State Warriors on Sunday.
Marc Stein on Corey Brewer (via ESPN.com) …
The Knicks and Brewer are closing in on a buyout agreement that will make the former Minnesota swingman a free agent, sources close to the situation told ESPN.com.
Because Brewer will be officially released before March 1, he’s eligible to play in the playoffs with another team.
Sources say Boston, San Antonio, Oklahoma City and Dallas are among the teams with the most interest in Brewer, who joined the Knicks only last week as part of the Carmelo Anthony deal.
The Celtics had previously tried to acquire Brewer from Minnesota before the Anthony trade went through.
Jazz big man Al Jefferson on Garnett (via Deseret News) …
“There’s a lot of things I can tolerate because I’ve been in this league long enough to know that he’s going to talk. He likes to hear himself talk. If that’s what [excites him], congratulations on him, but he’s not going to touch me on the point like, ‘I’m going to punk you.’ No, he’s not going to do that to me. I’m a cool cat. I mean, I don’t bother nobody, but he’s not going to touch me and that’s the bottom line.” …
Lakers forward Ron Artest on Perkins (via Oklahoman) …
“He’s a champion. Any time you’ve got a champion, it’s a problem. Anytime you’ve got a champion on your team and you’ve got future stars and players who want to be champions, that’s a potential problem.” …
Chris Broussard on Mike Bibby (via ESPN.com) …
Bibby will clear waivers on Wednesday. While [agent David] Falk said Bibby has not made a decision yet about which team he will join, one source close to the situation said he’s headed to Miami.
The source also said Miami is the front-runner for Troy Murphy.
K.C. Johnson on Rasual Butler (via Chicago Tribune) …
The Los Angeles Clippers on Sunday bought out veteran swingman Rasual Butler, who averaged 5 points in 18 minutes and was in the last year of a contract paying him $2.4 million.
The team announced the move Monday night.
The Bulls, who possess roughly $2.9 million of salary cap room, are confident they can sign him once he clears waivers. However, a source said Butler also is drawing interest from the Celtics, Hawks and Thunder.
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