Four days ago, the Celtics were awarded a second round pick from the Thunder for failure on the part of the Thunder to provide a proper medical history, as it later turned out forward Jeff Green had a heart problem, which caused him to miss all of last season.
The result of the trade was devastating for the C’s: not only did they lose a valuable interior defender in center Kendrick Perkins, but they also received a player who would not even be able to lace it up for a while. They cut ties with Green, awarded the right to void his contract, but Green may still be returning to the Celtics, anyway. That remains to be seen.
What seems unfair here is that the Celtics are only awarded a second round pick because of it. The Thunder jeopardized the fate of a franchise, and essentially pay nothing. The pick will be in the late 50s every year, and those guys rarely even make rosters. The Celtics essentially gained absolutely nothing, other than the right to get dibs on any guy they think could even last a few years in the NBA.
They should have been awarded a first rounder.
A first round pick would have been fair compensation for what the Thunder did. In trading a guy with a heart problem, they essentially killed a roster spot, so they should have to replace one. Most first rounders are worth the time to draft, and the Thunder would pick at the end of the first round, but the Celtics would likely have been able to snag a solid role player, or even a sleeper, and at least reap some rewards from the negligence of the Thunder’s training staff.
Years from now, this may or may not even matter. Essentially, the trade was trading a role player for a potential fringe All-Star. Green’s versatility and shooting prowess will give him a long career in the league, and he could find his way on to at least one All Star team.
Is he ever going to average 25 points per game? No. But 19 to 21 is not completely unreasonable, and he put up 16.5 points per game in his second year in the league. He has a lot of potential, but was a heart injury away from retirement until he underwent successful surgery just a week ago. He is a free agent, but the C’s seem to have the inside track on retaining his services.
Losing Kendrick Perkins for nothing was a blow. The Celtics would have and will lack the players to cover the premier centers in the league (OK, let’s be realistic, there is only one, Dwight Howard, and he plays in the East). A first round pick could have alleviated that with a little luck. So much for life being fair.