The Celtics took a calculated a risk last season when they dealt center Kendrick Perkins to Oklahoma City as part of a package that brought Jeff Green to Boston. The deal, however, did not go as planned, as Boston lacked an inside presence down the stretch and in the playoffs, while Green will miss the entire 2011-12 season with a heart condition.
However, when asked about the trade, Celtics owners Wyc Grousbeck and Steve Pagliuca said they would still make the deal all things the same.
“You can’t evaluate trades until it’s all said and done because different assets turn into different things,” Pagliuca said Wednesday on 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Felger and Massarotti Show. “At the time we did the trade, I thought it was a very thoughtful trade. The basketball staff looked at it — we needed scoring and Jeff Green supplied that scoring.
“The thing I loved about it is [Celtics president] Danny [Ainge] is always trying to win a championship. So it was a bold move. And we want people that take bold moves and take a risk to win a championship, not just compete. We want to win in Boston.”
As Grousbeck explained, the deal was made with long-term goals in mind, especially taking into account the fact that Perkins was set to become a free agent at season’s end.
“We did think that we would have Jeff for longer, and we are still hoping to,” he said of Green, who is expected to be able to play again. “Perkins [was] for sure leaving at the end of the year because he had already rejected everything we could pay him. So having Perkins coming off of injury — a great guy who we love and won a ring with — for a short term versus possibly a short-term upgrade with longer-term rights? Yeah, we probably would do it again. That doesn’t mean — we might be wrong again. Part of it was the longer-term view which we may still have.”
On a different trade front, the two owners did admit that the team was among many in talks trying to acquire Chris Paul before the All-Star point guard was sent to the Clippers. Practically every trade rumor surrounding Paul coming to Boston involved Celtics point guard Rajon Rondo, and many have wondered what kind of impact that would have on Rondo, a player who can apparently get moody from time to time.
However, neither Grousbeck nor Pagliuca foresees that being a problem with Rondo. The young point guard is maturing, they say, and he knows that it’s all part of the business of basketball.
The owners were also pressed on the perceived notion that Boston is not a desirable market for free agents to choose.
“I think we’re becoming a big market,” Grousbeck said. “We are a big market, or one of the bigger ones now. We weren’t when we came in. With [head coach] Doc [Rivers] and Danny solid and long term, I think we proved — [Kevin] Garnett chose to come here for example.
“We are a destination. We’re not sunny, we’re not warm, but we’re a great franchise. … I don’t know if we’re attractive for every single one, but the fun of it is when you do get three or four put together and you build on that and Doc and Danny and the fans and you say lets add a couple more pieces and what do you know? You’re in the finals.”
Hear the entire interview below.