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Note: This post is written by someone who would totally be OK with the Perk trade if Shaq wasn't injured.
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It is definitely not news at this point that the Celtics need a center. Darko Milicic's departure for family reasons is partly to blame, but there is more to it. Our rebounding has been worse than last year for certain stretches, and our interior defense is, hmm, how shall I put this, terrible. Moreover, a recent story on CelticsHub that quotes Celtics GM Danny Ainge suggests that the C's might be giving up on the small lineup idea, and the injection of Collins into the starting lineup indicates that that's not just random talk.

Now, one problem with needing a center is that it's really difficult to find one in a time when the position of center has been dropped from All-star ballots. Anderson Varejao and Marcin Gortat have been suggested so far, but let's be brutally honest, the Celtics don't have what it takes to land them (I mean we do have assets, but I don't want to part with Rajon Rondo, Avery Bradley or, to an extent, Jared Sullinger as they will most likely be the core of the team in 2.5 years) When I leave out the brutality in my honesty, I still reach the conclusion that the Celtics might not have enough to pull a two-team trade due to the low value of potential assets (unless Ainge is a Jedi and can convince other GMs that Courtney Lee, right now just another guard in a sea of guards, will gain his corner 3 ability back or that Jeff Green, will turn into a superstar as a starter, but remember that I'm being honest here.)

However, there's another team that could pursue Varejao: OKC, and they have a center (Kendrick Perkins) that they are more than ready to part with. However, his current trade value is low because the numbers he's been putting up are not ideal this season. Yet there is another team who would be interested in his services because, well, he would still be a terrific upgrade over the current center they have.

Ok, forget fancy schmancy prose, let me cut to the chase. OKC gets Varejao, Cavs get Brandon Bass and picks from any team (OKC has a really sweet one from Raptors) and we get back Perkins.

I will might be back. 
It's difficult to find win-win trades, yet this one is a win-win-win for all teams so it is indeed realistic. OKC gets a center they are actually pursuing with a great contract, and they might have to give up less assets because there is another team involved. The Cavaliers are going nowhere this season, but they have a really talented core. They would most likely not be interested in a guard because they're already fully invested in that department, but they definitely need a scoring punch for their bench. Here comes Bass, a serviceable big man who is a true professional. And they can use their picks to get a better center next year as they have nothing to lose this year. In fact, they might be better off losing since they're already 5-22. The Celtics like their current center Jason Collins simply because he sets hard picks and is tough. Well, that's Perkins' expertise. Moreover, they get a younger upgrade who's already quite familiar with the system.

Why wouldn't this work? As Mayberry puts it in the article I have linked above, OKC might avoid doing two semi-blockbuster trades in one season since they are already strong contenders, especially one that involves an injury-prone player. The Cavaliers might find a more attractive suitor, which is always an option (or they might make an absurd trade with the Lakers, because that's every GM's dream apparently). The Celtics might click in a few months so Ainge might get cold feet, or it might be too emotional of a move for either party. You never know.

However, one thing is certain. We're in need of a center, and sometimes the best option is a bit ironic. Even though we might dream about landing Varejao, Gortat, Josh Smith etc. there's a more realistic option out there, and as emotional as it would be, swallowing it might not hurt us at all.

semioticus (shelbyl) 12/21/2012 06:40:00 PM Edit
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