Celts trade Perkins, Raps quiet at deadline

FRANK ZICARELLI, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:29 PM ET

TORONTO - As expected, the Raptors were quiet as Thursday’s trade deadline passed, a day of predictable noise but very little in terms of substance.

The most impactful deal to emerge concerned Kendrick Perkins, Boston’s defensive anchor who will now be asked to provide a similar presence in Oklahoma City, where the Thunder found a much-need big to complement Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

All of a sudden, Boston isn’t as formidable as it once was in the paint, which is good news for teams such as Miami, especially after the Heat dropped three straight to the reigning Eastern champs.

With Shaquille O’Neal (Achilles) and Jermaine O’Neal (knee) nursing injuries, the Celtics will now turn to Nenad Krstic, a big in size who isn’t big in substance, more finesse than power and certainly nowhere near as dominant a defender as Perkins.

The Cs also acquired Jeff Green from the Thunder, a scorer and perimeter presence who fills a need in Boston, where Marquis Daniels’ future is clouded in doubt in the wake of a back injury.

Skill-wise, there’s no doubt Boston added talent, but the loss of Perkins looms large, especially when the post-season arrives.

Had Perkins not injured his knee in Game 6 of the NBA finals, the Celtics probably beat the Lakers in Game 7.

The writing, though, may have been on the wall when Perkins recently turned down an extension by the Celtics, a four-year deal reportedly worth $30 million.

Perkins becomes an unrestricted free agent, which means OKC may have acquired a rental player, but a player who nonetheless fills a void.

Green was part of a deal three years ago with Boston that sent Ray Allen to Beantown, a move that gave the Cs their Big Three.

A restricted free agent this summer, Green played in the shadow of Durant and Westbrook, but it now remains to be seen how many touches the Georgetown product will get on a Boston team where the offence runs through Paul Pierce.

Nate Robinson was also included in the Perkins deal, marking the second time in as many years that Robinson has been moved on trade deadline day.

Perkins sprained his MCL against Golden State on Monday, an injury described as minor but one that would have prevented Perkins from suiting up on Thursday night in Denver.

As news leaked of Perkins’ trade, reports surfaced that Celtics players were upset with the deal.

And they should be because Boston isn’t as tough without Perkins and it now calls into question the Celtics’ ability to advance to the NBA final.

What shouldn’t be questioned is Boston’s ability to field a very lethal offence, but in the NBA it’s defence and rebounding that win championships.

The Raptors, meanwhile, weren’t about to sacrifice their lottery pick and nor were they about to add salary in the form of a veteran, a point hammered home by GM Bryan Colangelo when he introduced the newest Raptor, James Johnson, prior to Wednesday night’s tip against Chicago.

Johnson, Jerryd Bayless (New Orleans) and Alexis Ajinca (Dallas) were acquired this season in large part due to the $14.5 million trade exception obtained in the Chris Bosh to Miami deal, a sum that now stands at $9.1 million.

Logically, the only roster players worth peddling were Reggie Evans, a free agent who hasn’t played since late November, and Leandro Barbosa, a low maintenance and well-liked backup combo guard who remains serviceable.

At least Evans has 24 games to help groom Ed Davis, but it’s highly unlikely Evans will get a lot of minutes.

Here’s a run down of the more significant players to get moved.

Gerald Wallace: A big-time scorer with a big contract, Bobcats wanted to shed salary and shipped the former all-star shooting guard to Portland for draft picks and the expiring contracts in Joel Przbilla and Dante Cunningham. Both teams win because deal addresses concerns.

Baron Davis: Cavs made a huge mistake in acquiring this head case who clashed with Byron Scott in New Orleans. Clippers get Mo Williams and Jamario Moon, but had to throw in a first-round pick to Cleveland. Clips win because team has more money to complement Blake Griffin.

Shane Battier: Model citizen returns to Memphis as Houston busy by trading Aaron Brooks to Phoenix. Grizzlies tried to trade O.J. Mayo to Indy for Josh McRoberts but couldn’t get deal in by 3 p.m. EST deadline.

Kirk Hinrich: Tough as nails combo guard gives Atlanta a much-needed perimeter defender and huge upgrade than Jeff Teague. Mike Bibby will now spot up in Washington. Edge Hawks because Hinrich is very under-rated.


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