Today in Celtics history: the Anderson/Baker trade
Is this the dumbest move in NBA history (not counting the Celtics trade for Vin Baker)? http://su.pr/1rofBp— SI Vault (@si_vault) August 6, 2010
The deal, regarded by many as among the Celtics' worst, sent Kenny Anderson, Joseph Forte and Vitaly Potapenko to the Seattle Supersonics, who sent back Baker with Shammond Williams. While none of the players sent out were especially great later - Forte was out of the league after the following season, Anderson's best years were behind him, and Potapenko as well - the latter two had several seasons of good basketball left in the tank.
I'm almost to the point in Al Horford's Celtics career that I don't see Vin Baker any time a green No. 42 pops up. Almost. pic.twitter.com/PKwYK4rSCa— Kelly Dwyer (@KDonhoops) January 25, 2017
The players who came to Boston, however, were both gone in less than two seasons - Baker released after his alcoholism became an insurmountable obstacle to his playing career and fitness, playing just 89 games with the Celts, and Williams being flipped with cash and a second-round pick to the Denver Nuggets for Mark Blount and Mark Bryant. Taken in a vacuum, it's easy to see why the trade was so distasteful, but Baker and Williams provided similar production to what they sent out, and trading Williams netted Blount, who more than made up for the loss of Baker with six seasons in Boston, averaging similar numbers.
Vin Baker's recovery includes teaching hoops at summer camp https://t.co/DZ5CkZCg3e #Celtics pic.twitter.com/AHgEsapR4K— ESPNBoston (@ESPNBoston) June 23, 2017
So, while Baker's demise is certainly sad, and emotional ties to Vitaly and Kenny were certainly stomped on, the Celtics probably came out on top when taking the long view - just don't tell Chris Wallace, as public outrage towards the deal was one of the factors leading to his ouster, replaced by a one Daniel Ainge.
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