BOSTON (CBS) – With the reality that Kendrick Perkins is no longer a Celtic set in, it is time to focus on the two new additions to Boston. Forward Jeff Green and center Nenad Krstic will suit of for the Celtics Saturday night when they take on the Los Angeles Clippers, so here is a crash course on the new guys.
Green was drafted fifth overall in the 2007 NBA draft out of Georgetown, originally selected by the Celtics. But Green never put on green, as he was traded along with Wally Szczerbiak and Delonte West to Seattle for Ray Allen and Glen Davis. He joined forces with Kevin Durant and has started every game he’s played in since his second year. For his career, Green has averaged 14.2 points and 5.7 rebounds-per-game.
Green is only 24-years-old and at 6-9 is one of the bigger small forwards in the league. He should provide a nice spark off the Celtics bench and will be the scorer on the second unit, something the Celtics did not really have before the trade. Green also gives the Celtics the option to give Paul Pierce more rest as the season winds down.
The one problem with Green is he will be a restricted free-agent at the end of the season. The Celtics will be able to match any contract offer, but how much he will command for his first free-agent contract, and will the Celtics want to match it?
Krstic is an interesting player. He was drafted in 2002, the 24th overall pick by the New Jersey Nets. A seven-footer out of Yugoslavia, Krstic had a very good run with the Nets averaging 10 points and 5.6 rebounds his rookie year. His best season came in 2006/07 when he averaged 16.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game while playing an average of 32 minutes. He was traded to the Thunder in 2008 and saw his numbers, and minutes, decline. He played roughly 22 minutes a game for Oklahoma City, which should point to his decrease in production.
Although Krstic is a pretty good offensive player, shooting 49-percent for his career, he is no Perkins on defense. Despite his seven-foot frame he only weighs in at 240 lbs. Don’t expect Krstic to bang around with the big guys in the paint. One bright spot though, if the Celtics do not want to play Shaquille O’Neal late in games they now have the option of either Krstic (73-percent from the free throw line for his career) or Glen Davis.
Like many of Danny Ainge’s trades, only time will tell on this one. If Green and Krstic can buy into the Celtics system and provide some pop off the bench, it could go a long way for Boston as they go for their 18th championship.
If not, the criticism of the trade will just get louder, leaving Celtics fans thinking “What if?” in regards to Perkins once again.