Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge joined The Big Show to talk about the trade that sent Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City and how he sees the new pieces fitting for his team. Ainge reiterated that there were a number of factors that led to the trade, including the financial ramifications of a new contract for Perkins, who would have been a free agent after this year, as well as the chance to add players who can help the Celtics win this year. Ainge also was concerned about Perkins' knees.
"I was worried about Perk's health," Ainge said. "Perk was not the same player coming off the knee surgery and then he had the sprained knee ligament against Golden State that was going to put him out for a few more weeks. There was some concern there."
Ainge added later in the interview: "There's one thing I would never question with Kendrick is his integrity, his character, his work ethic. He's a great young man and individual, but I've never seen a guy come back what they were especially as quick as he came back. He came back, which is to his credit. That tells you what kind of character he has. That was an amazing feat. He didn't just have an ACL tear. He had an MCL partial tear. he had a meniscus tear in the same knee. But he was not the same player, then he had the injury against Golden State in the other knee. So, yeah, of course there's doubt."
Ainge said that while the trade does help with the C's future rebuilding efforts, he never would have done the deal if he thought it would have cost his team a chance at winning a championship this year. "I would have never done that if I thought we were taking a step backwards for this year," Ainge said. "With this unique opportunity with the big four trying to win a championship right now, if I thought we were taking a step back I would have sacrificed that for a chance to win this year."
Ainge also said that he talked with Perkins' agent over the All-Star break and tried to convince them to sign an extension with the team, but they were determined to test the market. Perkins later signed an extension with Oklahoma City, which had more room under the cap to offer a larger deal. "I knew what the open market had in store for Kendrick Perkins, so I'm not shocked at all that Oklahoma City gave Kendrick the money that they gave them. That was not something we could do with the payroll we have. That was completely out of the question."
Here are some other highlights from the conversation:
On the upgrades to the bench: "Our success this year will be determined more by those four, our four All-Stars, more than anyone else. Now Doc [Rivers] looks down the bench and he has a three-year starter that's 24 years old in Jeff Green. A guy that started two years ago on the team with the best record in the NBA at point guard in Delonte West. Troy Murphy, who's been a starter his entire career and is only 30 years old. He looks down the bench and sees nothing but starters."
On Jermaine O'Neal: "He looks great. He looks better now than he did in training camp. Jermaine was talking about retirement and wondering if he had it. Tough decisions going back and forth. I think now he wishes he had done the surgery a little earlier. His spirits are up, he's putting the time in, I think we'll have the good Jermaine." Ainge estimated a timetable for his return at around three weeks.
On Rivers' biggest coaching challenge: "Doc's toughest job is the Jeff Green piece. The most difficult transition is going to be Jeff Green because Jeff is so capable of playing so many different things to maximize his talents. He's got so much to offer. I think that's Doc single focus, seeing the things he can do and how to best utilize him."
Greg and Chris talk more offseason happenings with the Pats and their plans. They talk about some of the free agents toward the bottom of the list with Stevan Ridley and Dan Connolly. Price thinks that Connolly could end up back with the Pats and Ridley elsewhere (Cowboys?), but Greg thinks they both could be back. They also chat about the departure of VInce Wilfork and what he meant to the organization, the re-signing of McCourty and more.
The very first airing of the offseason edition of NFL Sunday gets underway with Greg and Chris delving into the free agency period and how the Pats made out. Of course they lost Revis to the Jets, but what else went on? Greg isn't over the loss of Revis yet and the guys discuss what went into that whole ordeal. Price is looking forward to the additions of Chandler and Cadet. They also get a call from Mike Petraglia and get his thoughts on the Pats offseason moves.
We talk to Manish Mehta of the New York Daily News about his column today which basically accuses the Patriots of sour grapes for asking the league to enforce their own rules against tampering.
Brow Buff's Sam Packard and Ben Kichen break down Marcus Smart's unfortunate ball tap, debate leadership in the Celtics locker room, and rehash the great Kevin Love to Boston rumors.
Flannery joins Mut to break down the Isaiah Thomas trade to Boston and what it means for the Celtics this season and in the future. Paul also chats with Mut about the other deals that happened at the NBA's trading deadline
We talk to Chris Mannix from SI to break down the C's acquisition of Isaiah Thomas and the crazy trade deadline in the rest of the NBA.
Mut, Tomase, and Bradford kick things off talking about Shane Victorino taking offense to people reading into some comments he made about trading for Cole Hamels. They also discuss Blake Swihart and how soon he could be up if Christian Vazquez starts the season on the DL.
Joe Kelly joined the Hot Stove show where he talked about being ready for his next spring training start after a biceps ailment forced him out of his last outing, he talks about his NCAA brackets and how teammate Wade Miley has a perfect bracket still.
Mut, Bradford, and Tomase kick off this weeks show by talking to Red Sox pitcher Joe Kelly about his biceps recovery, getting ready for the season and his NCAA brackets. They then talk about the Red Sox depth at closer with Koji Uehara questionable for the start of the season.
Jack Edwards of NESN joins Dale, Michael and Jerry. With 9 games left the Bruins don't have much if any margin of error, and Jack knows it.
DJ, Joe and Pete talk more playoff scenarios in hour 2 and if the Bruins can get in, they'll be a very dangerous team... to the point where DJ thinks teams would much rather face the Senators and are doing their best to oust the Bruins from the equation. It's become apparent now more than ever that Chiarelli probably needed to pull the trigger on a deal for a defenseman at the trade deadline. Also. Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun joins the boys to discuss the Hamburglar and the Senators and Bruins being neck-and-neck for a playoff spot.
With the Senators hot on the tail of the Bruins for a spot in the playoffs, Bruce Garrioch from the Ottawa Sun calls into Sunday Skate. He talks about "the Hamburglar" craze sweeping through the league as goalie Andrew Hammond has really stepped up for Ottawa. They discuss playoff chances, the fans' reaction in Ottawa and more.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
The guys discussed Darrelle Revis' comments on his contract offer from the Patriots.
The guys opened the show by discussing the rumored profanity laced tirade by Bill Belichick.
Pierre McGuire of NBC Sports joins the show to talk about the struggling Bruins, the play of Zdeno Chara, and the future of Claude Julien and Peter Chiarelli
Rich Cimini of ESPN New York joined the show to talk about the ongoing tampering scandals between the Jets and the Patriots.
Christian does not impress the high school girls hockey team.
Dale and Michael discuss the collective egg laid by the Celtics against the Heat, and how the Bruins turnaround better begin tonight if they want it to begin at all.
We wrap up the day with the best in sound and more...
We discuss Shane Victorino's call-out of another local radio show, and debate the merits of Victorino's claims.
Chris Price joins Mut to talk about how Revis will heat up the Jets-Pats rivalry next season
Mut opens his show talking about the New York Jets filing tampering charges on the Patriots
Mikey, Mut, and Lucy are talking about all things New England sports, the Red Sox spring training, more Darrelle Revis and Jets talk, and some Bruins mixed in.
Mike Mulloy joins Chris in the studio to talk Raw and Wrestlemania.
WEEI’s Scott McLaughlin and College Hockey News’ Adam Wodon preview this year’s NCAA regionals and take a look at the chances for each of the Boston-area teams in the field. They also discuss BU’s Jack Eichel, Harvard’s Jimmy Vesey and the Hobey Baker Award.
Schefter joined us live from the owners meetings.More from this show