In Bill Simmons's latest podcast he had Sean Grande on as his guest and they drop an interesting piece of news that I hadn't heard up to this point. Turns out the original Perkins to the Thunder trade revolved around James Harden and not Jeff Green. The story goes that Presti changed his mind and convinced Danny to accept Jeff Green instead. Simmons speculates that Danny had simply decided that he wanted to move Perk, so he agreed to the restructured deal for Green. 

Harden, while no stud just yet, would have been an interesting addition. He's only 21 and still on his rookie contract. He has a legitimate position and can create for himself. This year for OKC, Harden scored more and had more assists per 36 minutes than Green. Green, even though he played down low, only had 1 more rebound per 36. Of course Harden is a few years younger, so you'd expect his ceiling to be higher as well. Who knows what type of player Harden will become, but this is definitely an interesting sub plot to "The Trade."

Simmons and Grande both seem to think that Presti made the wise move holding on to Harden. Interestingly enough this is not the first time that Presti and Ainge made a trade that could have been much different. The original Ray Allen trade had Presti asking for Rondo instead of Delonte. Ainge said he'd make the switch as long as Presti included Robert Swift. Presti declined and Ainge dodged a bullet.

Now by no means am I saying that Harden will become Joe Johnson and Jeff Green will be out of the league like Kedrick Brown. Green is already infinitely better than Brown was and Harden, while still very young, has a ways to go before anyone thinks of him as an all-star. That said, I do believe that James Harden is a better prospect and building block than Jeff Green is. I don't think either would have been worth sacrificing this season for, but that's my personal opinion. But hypothetically moving forward would you rather have Jeff Green or James Harden?

JR 5/14/2011 03:45:00 PM Edit
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47 Responses so far.

  1. tb727 says:

    Green, no questions about it. Gotta disagree with Harden being a better building block. Not a big fan of Harden AT ALL and even though I don't like Green, I would've liked Harden much less.

    The only thing Harden will be better at is growing a beard.

  2. Unknown says:

    Haha great Harden pic

  3. JR says:

    Yeah I thought immediately about you with Harden TB. I know you hate him. Then again u said Thibs would suck as a head coach ;)

  4. Brent Price says:


  5. JR says:

    Harden would have gone great with Shaq though. Everyonewas comparing Shaq's limp to Fred Sanford and Harden could totally pass for Grady.

  6. Avenue says:

    Harden is a pure scorer and much more agressive his personaliy is a better fit for the celtics

  7. Fiero Piacente says:

    Oh gee get over "the trade" already! Old news, stop harping on it, move on!!!

  8. Anonymous says:

    Harden would have been great....

  9. JR says:

    That's my first inclination as well Avenue. I prefer aggressive players.

    Mike, Hard to find a pic of Harden that isn't funny. lol.

  10. JR says:

    Fiero what should we talk about on the blog then today? The Bulls/Celtics ECF?

  11. tb727 says:

    Harden also would be my prediction for the better rapper, considering his strong resemblance to Jeru the Damaja lol

  12. JR says:

    TB, you know how many more times you could have used that pic?!?! Wasted opportunity.

  13. Anonymous says:

    Green may be a better building block, but Harden is more what this team needed now this season - instant offense off the bench, to give both Ray and Pierce some rest. In the end, however, trade or no trade, Harden or Green, I don't think the Celtics were beating the Heat.

  14. JR says:

    Btw TB I set you up with the JJ/Kedrick Brown talk. You should read my articles sometimes. lol

  15. Melanie says:

    I like Jeff green. He has potential to be a much better player. He's only been with the celtics for 2 1/2 months and was never really comfortable. People need to give him a chance. He was over-shadowed by Durant and Westbrook in OKC

  16. Anonymous says:

    Danny Ainge is a damn idiot!

  17. JimmyHarden says:

    love green, but i love harden more. harden can create his own shot, handle the ball, pass, shoot, score, and brings great energy. green still has some proving to do and i hope he proves me wrong, but i'd rather have harden. damn now that i know we could have had harden i'm even more upset.

  18. Anonymous says:

    I like Jeff more. But my theory is that Danny wanted Harden,so that he will have a valuable trading peace in Allen,probably the most wanted of the big3 by other teams. Or that Allen is the first of them to go to the bench. Harden is more practical in our situation, but I do like Green more.
    Besides, maybe Danny wanted Jeff more but didn't want to ask cause that's the player they got from us.

  19. Unknown says:

    i dont understand every single day or week someone is roasting danny ainge when before ainge came boston wasnt even a team to talk about making it to the finals and had ups and down almost every year to be honest without danny this team has no chance of making alot of noise imma big celtics fan i and i watch enough terror when tony delk was a member and eric williams

  20. Anonymous says:

    I'd choose Green over Harden. Everybody has to second guess Ainge on the Perk trade. What's done is done and I think he made a good move. Green has real potential. Next year he's going to come into his own and show everyone what a good pick he turned out to be.

  21. DH says:

    Harden's beard alone is a force to be reckoned with. I heard the original trade was Perkins for Harden and Nate for Harden's beard.

  22. Anonymous says:

    Del, I'm with you. I figure that I've logged over 5,000 t.v. hours in the last 25 years (not counting pre-season and playoffs)watching the Cees. I also watched them a lot before that but was more spotty then due to lack of t.v. coverage in our area. Then it was Johnny Most bringing it to me. I have seen the good, the bad, and the ugly. I don't know as I'd like Danny personally but that's what makes him good at his job.

  23. Anonymous says:

    Listening to the interview it sounds like Danny wanted Harden first. I don't blame him. Thunder wanted to keep Harden more. Green sucked on Boston, so not sure why anyone would pick Green.

  24. Bohemian says:

    I feel tempted to say Harden now, after realizing that Green was just too raw for the mission he was assigned to do. Harden is a scorer and that is precisely what we are looking for now.

    However, I still like the Green prospect as a long and athletic SF that can develop into a very good player in the league. Green just needs time, and this is very good news for the near future if he can continue with us. It's a pity that this team was conceived for now and not for the future and it's a shame we altered what we had here by February...

  25. Anonymous says:

    DA is a great GM. I understand we have to respect people's opinions, however for all of you who think DA is not intelligent sufficient to be the best manager of this team; can you give me a good reason why? Pls, if you gonna bash on someone at least, try to have a good argument. DA is if not the best GM in the NBA, he is certainly one of the best. KP trade was a very good trade for us. There would be nothing KP could do to stop Miami! We added very good value in that trade. I am very happy with the future of this team. I guarantee you DA is not going to let the Celtics be irrelevant as they were in a not so distant past. A championship is never a guarantee; if D Wade or Lebron goes down and not Rondo, who do you think would be playing in the ECF right now? Exactly my point. Now pls grow up!

  26. Anonymous says:

    Celtics fans are talking about KP the best C in the NBA right now. Or hold on; KP average 3points and 6 rebounds in the playoffs. Is that our savior that we traded away? Pls, have some sense. I love KP and everything he did for us; however it is DAs job to make this team better, and i think we got the better part of the deal. nough said

  27. Anonymous says:

    Preatty soon, we are gonna have people asking Pittino to come back and be the GM of this team....Learn with History, and give credit whr credit is due.

  28. Anonymous says:

    Can't stand the people trashing Perkins now that he's gone. Yeah winning is all about stats right? Would love to have a guy like Perk who actually boxed out on this team. No stats for that.

  29. Anonymous says:

    Celtics had 16 titles before Danny was the GM. Danny isn't the savior. Pitino drafted Pierce too, but he was lousy. Bring back Red!

  30. Anonymous says:

    Toughness, team chemistry, defensive presence and swagger doesn't show in KP's stats. You shouldn't read too much into Stats or why has Lebron no ring yet but the best stats in the league?

  31. Anonymous says:

    A good trade is jr. Smith he is a free agent This season and james poesy again in are roster would be great...... And do not take d. West out he is a great fit on the roster the rest can make some adjustment thats how i feel...

  32. Beantown says:

    I had actually figured that to be true, it would make a little more sense. Harden wasn't starting for them at the time and wasn't even putting up great numbers either. Still think that Green is by far the better player between the two.

  33. ThomasJ says:

    I agree with you JR, not tb on this one. I think the toughness and agressive personality makes harden a much better part of this years team and all the talk of Green's length and potential is just that - talk. I have a feeling we will continue waiting on potential for Green to be more than a good role player who has an occasional great game.

    I don't understand the Danny defenders. What great insightful moves has he made that someone else wouldn't/couldn't?

    And for the knuckleheads that keep citing Perks unimpressive offensive stats, remember this stat - the Celtics were a statistically more efficient and productive offensive team with Perk on the floor. I guess chemistry, continuity and good picks mean something.

    If we didn't have Perk's toughness vs. Miami we could have used "fear the beard"

  34. Anonymous says:

    Kevin mchale gave us that championship, not Danny Ainge...and anytime you can get a guy as long and young as green then there is a bigger upside, rather than a rookie 1/2 guard who would get gobbled up at the 3

  35. Anonymous says:

    You know what. When Perkins was here Celtics was still a pretty bad rebounding team. Enough overeating a player. He is a good person, but he is just a mediocre Center; nothing to special. Sorry, but it's what it is. Yes Pitino drafted Pierce, and he also traded away our future for busts. Look whr that took us. Realize that 16 titles before Ainge were done before the 90's; so yes DA is the best GM the Celtics have had since Red. Thank God we have him.

  36. Beantown says:

    ^That is false. Ainge made that happen and obviously his prior relationship with McHale made it a more feasible trade but Ainge deserves all the credit in the world. He's made some bone headed moves in the past as well but I think he has the right idea with that Perkins trade, I'm still going to stick buy that move as long as they keep Green around here for a long time. Green's got everything you look for in a player and once he gets settled in Boston and really feels comfortable he's a potential 20 per game scorer, it's just a matter of time. Perkins was someone I loved but his value was inflated in Boston and even though the C's are looking for a center I think they can possibly find someone else and make this team a real legitimate contender again.

  37. WShaw says:

    Wow. Harden is little better offensively but he plays no defense. Green was probably the better choice if they were hoping to get help defense on LeBron and company but seeing how our offense struggled you wonder what Harden could have done for us.

  38. JR says:

    Yeah I don't know. Been thinking about this and I still don't think Perk was worth either. I think Harden had more upside than Green, but Green hypothetically at the time should have been a good fit at back up forward. Then again Green's poor performance last year in the playoffs should have set off some red flags. Now if the offer was Harden and Ibaka that would have been very interesting.

  39. Anonymous says:

    Right on Beantown! My thoughts exactly.

  40. JR says:

    Watching this Memphis/OKC Game 7 right now. Harden is a baller. Very impressed. Right now he's a +19 higher than any other player.

  41. tj celt fan from utah says:

    Ok I was one who didn't agree with the trade, but now to hear the trade was meant for Harden over green. Hmmm gets me thinking, Green is a good player, a little soft, but Harden is a better player in my opinion, since I've watched both play from college to the NBA. Harden would have helped us in a big way, he can pass the ball, get everybody involved, come off the bench, and score off the dribble. Green hasn't shown me anything yet. I can undertand coming to a new team such as the C's you can be a lil' timid and uneasy with your new surroundings and you don't want to miss up but, come on you're getting paid all this money to put the ball through the hoop. Do your job! I feel after watching every game this year and watching the Celtics vs OKC, Jeff Green was not a factor, Jeff Harden was. Not only do I feel that Harden would be a better fit, he can grow a dope ass beard..

  42. Anonymous says:

    Well you didn't get him. Move the f* on! I hate you Boston! Go Lakers!

  43. Anonymous says:

    get rid of glen davis ( please )

  44. Anonymous says:

    im from chicago but im a boston fan. so f the lakers my friend

  45. Anonymous says:

    We all love Perks..He's a Celtic for life however Danny made the right choice for the team..Perks as great a defender he was, he was a liability offensively..Green has what it takes to be a star..Working with Doc, Big 3 & rondo he can finally be that..In C's he can get the chance to shine..C's they're all about team basketball..Not hero basketball..he's defense will improve and his offense is amazing..he reminds me of pierce at times..Paul robbing of a bit..He and rondo can be epic..2 athletic guys plus big 3..EPIC..he will find himself in this team..he's getting their

  46. Avenue says:

    anybody still want jeff green after seeing Harden play tonight ,if you do then your a moron this guy harden is a gamer

  47. JR says:

    I agree that Harden is a gamer. Stepping up his game in the playoffs. And he's barely older than Avery Bradley. Presti did well to convince Danny to take Green instead. Harden could be a stud by the time he's Greeen's age.

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