Best and worst trades in Boston Celtics history
Thursday marks two years since the Boston Celtics shocked the NBA world by trading Isaiah Thomas, Ante Zizic, Jae Crowder, and a future first-round pick to the Cavaliers for superstar guard Kyrie Irving. It was a franchise-altering deal for the C's, but not for the reason most expected.
Irving's tenure in Boston will be remembered for the knee injury that kept him sidelined for the entirety of the 2018 NBA playoffs and the lack of chemistry that plagued the 2019 squad. After two disappointing seasons, Irving took his talents to Brooklyn in free agency.
It's difficult to categorize the Irving trade as one of the best or the worst in Celtics history. On one hand, it was a major disappointment for a Boston team that had such high hopes for its most talented team in years. On the other, it's not like the Cavs made out like bandits either.
So while you won't find Irving on this list, there are plenty of other notable Celtics trades worth revisiting for better or for worse. Let's take a trip down memory lane at some of the most notable deals (in no particular order). . .
1980: Boston sends two first-round picks to Golden State for Robert Parish and a third-round pick (Kevin McHale)
Red Auerbach pulled off an absolute steal of a trade by acquiring two future Hall of Famers who helped the Celtics to NBA titles in 1981, 1984, and 1986.
1998: Boston sends Chauncey Billups and Dee Brown to Toronto for Kenny Anderson, Popeye Jones, and Zan Tabak
The Rick Pitino-led Celtics drafted Chauncey Billups with the No. 3 overall pick in the 1997 NBA Draft... then they traded him less than a year later. Billups went on to have a phenomenal career with Detroit.
2007: Boston sends Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West, Jeff Green to Seattle for Ray Allen and Glen Davis
Just one of Danny Ainge's amazing moves of the 2007 offseason. Pulling off this deal for Ray Allen marked the beginning of the Big Three era.
2003: Boston sends Antoine Walker and Tony Delk to Dallas for Raef LaFrentz, Jiri Welsch, and Chris Mills
The C's parted ways with fan-favorite Antoine Walker for a few underwhelming pieces including Raef LaFrentz, who was in the second year of his seven-year, $70 million contract. Yikes.
2007: Boston sends Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Theo Ratliff, Sebastian Telfair and two first-round picks to Minnesota for Kevin Garnett
Back to 2007. Kevin Garnett was the next piece of the puzzle after dealing for Ray Allen, and the Big Three was born. We all know how things went from there. . .
2002: Boston sends Joe Johnson, Randy Brown and Milt Palacio to Phoenix for Tony Delk and Rodney Rogers
The Celtics selected Johnson with the No. 10 overall pick in the 2001 draft. "Iso Joe" played in only 43 games with Boston before being traded to the Suns and becoming a seven-time NBA All-Star.
2013: Boston sends Kevin Garnett, Paul Pierce, Jason Terry, and D.J. White to Brooklyn for Gerald Wallace, Kris Humphries, MarShon Brooks, Kris Joseph, Keith Bogans, three first-round draft picks (2014, 2016 and 2018), and the right to swap first-round picks in 2017
One of the most wild trades in NBA history. The C's traded Garnett and Pierce to Brooklyn well past their primes and ended up with a boatload of draft picks. Those picks turned into Jaylen Brown and Jayson Tatum, then the last pick was sent to Cleveland in the deal for Kyrie Irving.
1974: Boston sends Paul Westphal, two second-round picks to Phoenix for Charlie Scott
Scott just wasn't the same player after coming to Boston, while Westphal went on to make five All-Star teams in six seasons with the Suns.
1983: Boston sends Rick Robey and two second-round draft picks for Dennis Johnson, a first-round draft pick and a third-round draft pick
The Celtics managed to land a franchise cornerstone in Dennis Johnson for Rick Robey, who played only three more seasons after the trade before retiring. Johnson helped the C's to championships in 1984 and 1986.
2011: Boston sends Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to Oklahoma City for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstić
As soon as the Celtics dealt Perk to the Thunder, there was a glaring lack of toughness on their roster. While Perkins didn't exactly go on to have a stellar career in OKC, there's no doubting he was an integral part of the C's success throughout his tenure in Boston.
1956: Boston sends Ed Macauley and Cliff Hagan to St. Louis for No. 2 overall draft pick; Ice Capades to Rochester for promise not to draft Bill Russell No. 1
OK, buckle up for this one. Red Auerbach dealt Macauley and Hagan to the St. Louis Hawks in exchange for the No. 2 pick, but knew the Rochester Royals likely would take Russell at No. 1 overall if he didn't make another deal. So what did he do? He promised the Royals the Ice Capades would travel to Rochester as long as they promised to let the C's take Russell with the second pick.
Russell went on to become one of the biggest icons in Boston sports history, leading the Celtics to 11 titles in 13 years including eight consecutive championships.