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 for our weekly update from Bill Belichick and get his take on the Pats win over the Texans on the road, the benching of Stevan Ridley, and Antonio Smith's thinly veiled Spygate comments after the Texans lost.
Patriots’ defensive end, Rob Ninkovich, joins Mut and Merloni on a Patriots Monday after the team’s victory in Houston. Rob addresses the postgame comments of Texans’ defensive lineman Antonio Smith and the defense struggling against the run.
Tom Brady joined the show fresh off the teams 9th win of the season in Houston. He dismissed Antonio Smith's spying allegations and told the guys he has already moved on.
Eagle checks in to give Grande and Max a perspective on the Brooklyn Nets after they acquired Paul Pierce and Kevin Garnett via trade earlier this summer. He breaks down what he thinks the future holds for the Nets after completing this blockbuster deal.
Sean Grande and Cedric Maxwell take some time and look back at the history between the Celtics and the Lakers, specifically the legendary rivalry between Magic and Bird. Legendary broadcaster, Ian Eagle, checks in to give the Brooklyn perspective as KG and Paul Pierce settle into their new home. Sean and Max also reveal the behind the scenes details surrounding Max’s famous “I got the ball” moment.
In the first hour of this edition of the Celtics Summer Cooler, Grande and Max analyze the trade that sent Fab Melo out of Boston. Also in this hour, Max sets the story straight about his history with Larry Bird.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier talk with Jon Lester about contract negotiations, losing a teammate like Jacoby Ellsbury, the World Series run, and looking ahead to 2014.
Rob Bradford and Alex Speier are back witht he Hot Stove Show. They talk about Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the New York Yankees, the Red Sox signings of AJ Pierzynski and Edward Mujica, and wrap it up with Red Sox starting pitcher Jon Lester, who talks about the World Series run, losing a teammate like Ellsbury and looking towards 2014.
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.
Shawn Thornton joined the show and discussed the teams long layoff leading into their game tomorrow night in Montreal. He told the guys that he anticipates fighting being a part of hockey for years to come.
Lucic joins Danny Picard to talk some hockey after the team’s overtime win against the Carolina Hurricanes. Danny asks Lucic about David Krejci’s game winner yesterday and hockey outsiders that are trying to change the game.
Shawn Thornton joined the show fresh off his big night at MSG and talked about his recent goal scoring prowess. Shawn said that no matter who his line mates are he is always going to be a fourth liner.
Kirk Minihane answered any and all questions from the listeners and John and Gerry.
The New York Post's Joel Sherman joined the show with his thoughts on jacoby Ellsbury's signing with the Yankees. He said that if it were up to him he would have given the money to Robinson Cano over Ellsbury.
The top stories of the day as recounted by Kirk Minihane. They discussed how Ron Burgundy has officially jumped the shark and played sound of him on Dan Patrick.
Peter King joins Mut and Merloni to go across the NFL and address the latest news. He discusses Kubiak's firing, Tomlin's fine, and Dennard's possible suspension.
Brick makes his weekly appearance on Mut and Merloni and discusses the Bruins loss to Montreal and the hit on Johnny Boychuck.
Michael Fabiano, fantasy expert and Yankees fan, gives his opinion on the Cano signing, discusses Julian Edelman's rising fantasy value, and actually suggests starting Ryan Fitzpatrick
We check in with Herm Edwards on the Pats, Stevan Ridley, and a great many things around the NFL.
We stir up a pot of crap when we debate the world cup and the popularity of soccer... pro callers, con-callers, plus Jack Edwards!
We tackle four topics at 4PM.
Ryder talks with WEEI.com's Chris Price about the Patriots upcoming game with the Cleveland Browns, and Stevan Ridley's status on the team.
Alex joins the show and gives his thoughts on the Jacoby Ellsbury deal, and what prospects the Red Sox have to fill the hole left in the lineup, or trade pieces to get a player who can fill the void.
John talks to Rob and gets his thoughts on the Yankees signing Jacoby Ellsbury, the Red Sox signing AJ Pierzynski, and Jarrod Saltalamacchia signing with Miami.
Mike Lupica of the Daily News joined the show to give the New York reaction to the Ellsbury signing. He said that the Yankees drastically overpaid.More from this show
The Red Sox new catcher, A.J. Pierzynski, joined the show to discuss his reputation as the most hated man in baseball. He also said that he turned down multi-year deals to come and win in Boston.More from this show
Johnny Damon joins Mut and Merloni to clear the air about his free agent signing with the Yankees and discusses Ellsbury's signing.More from this show
Buster Olney joins Mut and Merloni to discuss Jacoby Ellsbury signing with the Yankees and the possibility of the Red Sox trading for Andre Ethier.More from this show