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 discuss the Pats kicking the tires on Rolando McClain, something that shocked both of these guys. They also get into the Aaron Hernandez trial and Robert Kraft appearing as a witness last Tuesday. Aaron Schatz, Football Outsiders, called the show to talk offseason free agency, Pats HOF/Parcells and more. The guys also got into the NFL schedule coming out soon and who the Pats will open with.
The intelligent and knowledgeable Aaron Schatz calls the boys to discuss the Patriots offseason, how some teams don't need to make moves in free agency to improve, the Pats HOF debate and much more.
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Brian "White Mamba" Scalabrine joins the guys to talk about the Celtics playoff push, the development of Marcus Smart and James Young, and the prospect of Brad Stevens leaving the Celtics for a college job.
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
Xander had the game winning hit in the bottom of the 9th to get the Red Sox on top of the Baltimore Orioles 3-2, he talked with Joe and Dave after the game about what his thought process during the at-bat was and the excitement of a walk-off.
Buster Olney of ESPN joins the guys to talk about the first two weeks of the baseball season. They discuss the struggling Red Sox rotation and the potential of the high-powered offense.
Joe and Dave talk with Red Sox catcher Ryan Hanigan after the Red Sox come back to beat the Nationals 8-7.
Cominf off a terrible game agaisnt the Capitals, Pierre McGuire discusses Claude Julien's decision to mix up the lines as well as the Bruins two remaining games.
We talk all things Bruins with the great Jack Edwards of NESN as they prepare to take on the Capitals.
In hour 2 of the Easter edition, the Sunday Skate crew discuss Reilly Smith and how he is struggling to get on track. This leads to a discussion of his much disputed new contract and Chiarelli's way of conducting team business. They get in Gregory Campbell's role on the team and if he still deserves as much ice time as he has been getting. More line discussions and a look at the B's playoff push ensue.
The latest edition of Answer The Question Kirk with Rob Bradford and Gary Tanguay.
The Celtics president of basketball operations joined the show to preview Cavs Celts.
The guys discussed the Pats draft with Todd McShay.
Kyle Draper and Sports Radio Hack Lou Merloni make up after beefing earlier in the week, Aaron Hernandez gets taken down by Larry Willmore, and our very own Christian Fauria makes his Country Music Debut
Celtics play-by-play announcer Mike Gorman joins the guys to defend his prediction of Celtics in 6.
After some suspicious outfield play from Red Sox Left Fielder Hanley Ramirez, the guys question whether or not he has what it takes to play in the outfield, a position he has never played before.
Michael, Jerry and Andy Hart discuss this year's Celtics as they enter the playoffs to take one of the best teams in the East in the NBA Playoffs.
We discuss the Britt McHenry suspension from ESPN, and the incident itself, and whether or not we've all had an incident like this, and whether her response was in any way appropriate.
We wrap up the day with some of the best sound of the day and the week.
Mikey Adams, joined by Lenny Megliola and Chris Villani, talks about the Red Sox home opening win at Fenway and the Bruins fallout after missing the playoffs including the future of Peter Chiarelli and Claude Julien.
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
Ben and Sam are joined by Julian Edlow from WEEI.com to give their predictions on every series in the NBA Playoffs.
Jerry is joined by hockey writer Brian "Rear Admiral" McGonagle of Barstool Sports to perform a post-mortem on what happened to the 2014-15 Bruins, who's to blame and where the team goes from here.
Ben and Alex break down Leg 1 of the quarter finals of the Champions League and talk about some of the most interesting transfer rumors.
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