The Boston Celtics have completed a trade in which they will ship out Kevin Garnet, Paul Pierce, Jeff Green, Brandon Bass, and Avery Bradley, in exchange for future Hall of Fame players Kevin Garnet and Paul Pierce, 2nd year defensive specialist Avery Bradley, and Jeff Green and Brandon Bass.
The Celtics stated in a press release: "Paul Pierce is one of the greatest Celtics players of all time, has been a leader on this team since being drafted in 1998, and helped lead the Celtics to a Championship in 2008. Kevin Garnet brought great skill, passion and devotion to the Celtics since joining the team in 2007. Both are future members of the Hall of Fame and will be missed. Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass and Jeff Green are very good, hard working and promising players, well liked by their teammates. All will be missed and we thank them for their efforts. But the franchise is very excited to be adding players of the caliber of Kevin Garnet, Paul Pierce, Avery Bradley, Brandon Bass, and Jeff Green and we believe that their addition strengthens and improves our ball club."
Danny Ainge, during his weekly appearance on WEEI this morning, offered this explanation of the trade: "Look, I wanted Paul and Kevin to finish their careers as Celtics, but I need to do what is best for this team. In order to acquire players like Paul and Kevin, as well as Avery, Jeff, and Brandon, you have to be willing to give up good players in return."
When asked why he traded within as opposed to with another ball club as is traditionally done, Ainge explained: "We valued Paul, Kevin, Avery, Brandon, and Jeff very highly, and I was not willing to party with them unless I thought we were getting as good value in return. No other team could offer us the package that we could offer ourselves."
Celtics Insider A. Sherrod Blakely stated: "This is one of those rare trades in the NBA where I think both teams got better. Boston needed to make a move after Rondo and Sullinger went down for the season, and this trade allowed them to accomplish that. On the other hand, Boston's biggest needs were to add another big man and scoring punch, both to the starting unit and the bench, and this trade does that for Boston."
ESPN's Chad Ford stated: "Once again, the maverick Danny Ainge thinks outside of the box and takes a risk few other GMs would contemplate. Unable to find a trading partner, he trades with himself."
Jackie MacMullan reports that the trade almost didn't happen. Danny Ainge tried to acquire and include Rondo in the deal, but Wyc Grossbeck refused to include/receive him. "Rondo is our point guard" Grousbeck reportedly told Ainge. Eventually Ainge conceded trading and receiving Rondo, and instead Boston's second round pick was included/received in the trade.
Not all analysts have been positive about the trade. ESPN's John Hollinger has questioned the value of Jeff Green, and has stated that his statistical analysis shows that the Celtics will be worse following the trade, as will Boston.
Comcast Sportsnet's Gary Tanguay tweeted: "Does this make the Celtics better? I don't know, but it sure is interesting to discuss." His co-anchor Donny Marshall stated: "The thing is, when I was a player, and you got to ask yourself, is this good for the team?"
TNT's Charles Barkley replied to Kenny Anderson's analysis regarding the trade: "Wake me up when it is June. Please. Seriously, I think Fab Mello is going to be a big help to the Celtics this year. Shaq, did you eat all the Cookie Dough Ice Cream again?"
Yahoo! Sports's Adrian Wajnarowski wrote: "This makes no sense! Is everyone crazy? They just traded with themselves! In what Universe does this make the remotest sense? How is this a trade? Why am I writing about this? This makes the Decision seem like a normal event. Everyone in the world is insane except me!"