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."
We check in with the playmaker, Hall of Famer Michael Irvin joins us for his weekly conversation about the NFL. We talk to Michael about the Raiders first win, the LeGarrette Blount saga, and how Patriots-Lions might play out.
Just out of practice, Kyle Arrington joins the guys to preview Pats-Lions
WEEI.com's Mike Petraglia and Chris Price preview Sunday's Patriots-Lions game and discuss what the Pats offense needs to do against Detroit's front seven, as well as what the Pats defense can do against Calvin Johnson.
How have the Celtics looked after a couple weeks? Could they be a playoff team? These questions and more...
Sam and Ben talk with Greg Dickerson about how fun this year's Celtics team is to watch as well Jeff Green trade ideas.
Kyle Draper joins Danny Picard to talk about the Celtics chances this season in the Eastern Conference, last Wednesday's home opener blowout against the Nets, and Rajon Rondo's future in Boston
Red Sox beat writer Brian MacPherson joins Danny Picard to talk about the Red Sox going after Jon Lester and other free agents.
The Hot Stove guys are talking about Pablo Sandoval and Jon Lester's contract offers from the Red Sox. They then por one out for the Giancarlo Stanton rumors being put to bed.
The Hot Stove boys are back again, talking about Jon Lester, Pablo Sandoval, Giancarlo Stanton's b
Dale and Michael get Jack Edwards' 'state of the B' report and talk about the win over the Blues at the Garden on Tuesday.
Andy Brickley joined the show and touched on last night's convincing win over a good team, Matt Bartkowski needing a wake up call, and the NHL review process.
Pierre joins the guys to talk about the Bruins struggles, the NHL franchise in Las Vegas, and the return of the glow puck!
BC's head coach joined the show to preview the Florida State game.
Rodney Harrison previewed the Patriots and Lions with the guys.
The top stories of the as recounted by Kirk Minihane.
Detective Fauria tells us the infamous gloryhole story from VICE squad and other stories Christian's past.
Just out of practice, Kyle Arrington joins the guys to preview Pats-Lions
Christian in Foxboro returns, this time he's trolling Detroit sports radio station 97.1 The Ticket's Stoney and Bill show . Christian rips Lions fans and asks why his nephew, Joseph, isn't getting the ball more.
We check in with the playmaker Michael Irvin for his weekly update on all things NFL. We talk to Michael about the Raiders first win, the LeGarrette Blount saga, and how the Pats will do against the Lions this weekend.
Michael and Dale discuss Jonas Gray's tardiness, and try and predict how the running-back will respond and make up for his error.
We talk with Tom E Curran and debate whether or not the Patriots current performance is more reminiscent of the 2004 or 2007 Patriots.
Brandon covers the NFL, particularly the Detroit Lions for Bleacher Report. He gives us his thoughts on this Sunday's game and how the Lions stack up against the Patriots.
Mikey, Villani, Lenny and Kerry Byrne are talking Patriots-Lions and how the team this year stacks up to Patriots teams of the past.
Some more Musical Mikey Magic to get ready for Sunday's Patriots-Lions game.
Jerry Thornton's first podcast explores sports stories that would make for interesting 30 for 30 documentaries.
Andy Merritt of the New England Hockey Journal joined WEEI.com’s Scott McLaughlin to talk about the play of Vermont and Providence, as well as other happenings around Hockey East. Merrimack coach Mark Dennehy also joined the show to talk about his team’s good start, his freshman class and how he uses possession stats.
Joining the show today Mut the all-purpose back of WEEI. We talk about players we have hated over the years as well as Rajon Rondo and what is ailing the Celtics.
The guys opened the show discussing the Raiders win over the Chiefs.More from this show
Michael and Dale discuss the return of LGB, and how the move really wasn't that surprising to begin with.More from this show
Christian in Foxboro returns, this time he's trolling Detroit sports radio station WDFN's Shep in the Morning Show. Christian rips Lions fans and asks why his nephew, Joseph, isn't getting the ball more.More from this show