Ray Allen

Kendrick Perkins: Ray Allen was all for trading Rajon Rondo for Chris Paul

Kendrick Perkins: Ray Allen was all for trading Rajon Rondo for Chris Paul

BOSTON --  We knew that Rajon Rondo was not happy with the Boston Celtics when they were seriously considering trading him to New Orleans for Chris Paul.

But according to former Celtic-turned-broadcaster Kendrick Perkins, two-thirds of the team’s Big Three were against the Celtics doing such a deal. 

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The one who was for it?

Ray Allen. 

“It was rumors starting to circulate and it was brought to the table that, what if we traded Rondo and get CP?” Perkins said on Sirius XM Radio. “KG (Kevin Garnett) and Paul (Pierce) were like, ‘nah, we ain’t doing that.’ As great as CP3 is, we just won a championship, we rockin’ with ‘do (Rondo). He’s giving us everything that we need. But Ray (Allen) was like, ‘nah, let’s do it.’”

Word eventually got back to Rondo and according to Perkins, “that was it from there.”

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Perkins added that it got to the point where they brought boxing gloves to the practice facility for Rondo and Allen to release some of the built-up tension between them.

“We made them box it out for like two rounds,” grinned Perkins.

That sheds added light on the contentious relationship between Allen and some of his former teammates, a relationship that has improved with some but not so much with others. 

When Rondo was organizing a vacation for players from that 2008 title team to commemorate their 10-year anniversary, Allen did not get an invite. 

“I asked a couple of the guys. I got a no, a no head shake,” Rondo told ESPN’s The Undefeated in 2017, when asked why Allen wasn’t invited.

After finding himself on the trading block while in Boston, Allen decided to leave the Celtics when he became an unrestricted free agent in 2012. 

He agreed to a three-year, $9.5 million deal with the rival Miami Heat. 

That alone irked his former Celtic teammates. 

Making matters even more bothersome for them was the fact that in leaving Boston, he also walked away from a two-year, $12 million offer from the Celtics which reportedly would have included a no-trade clause.

The Heat met the Celtics that year in the playoffs and eliminated Boston before going on to win the first of back-to-back NBA titles. 

This Date In Celtics History: Ray Allen delivers in crunch time for 2010 C's

This Date In Celtics History: Ray Allen delivers in crunch time for 2010 C's

Ray Allen still isn't on great terms with his former Boston Celtics teammates. But they still owe him a debt of gratitude for some big-time plays he made during their deep playoff runs.

Case in point: Game 1 of the 2010 Eastern Conference Finals between the Celtics and Magic in Orlando, exactly 10 years ago Saturday on May 16, 2010.

While the Magic held Kevin Garnett and Rajon Rondo in check (eight points apiece), Allen stepped up with a game-high 25 points.

He also drilled a clutch 3-pointer late in the fourth quarter and scored five of Boston's last seven points as the C's edged Orlando 92-88 to take a 1-0 series lead.

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Here are two other notable May 16 performances from the C's, who are 3-3 all-time in games played on this date:

May 16, 2012: Rondo drops 23 points, 14 assists and six rebounds as the Celtics roll to a 107-91 win over the Philadelphia 76ers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference Semifinals.

May 16, 1976: Dave Cowens (26 points, 11 rebounds) and Charlie Scott (22 points) lead the way for Boston in a pivotal Game 5 win over the Cleveland Cavaliers in the East Finals.

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Celtics Playoff Rewind: How KG-less Celtics lost their Magic in '09

Celtics Playoff Rewind: How KG-less Celtics lost their Magic in '09

The Boston Celtics were six minutes away from a title in 2010.

They were one LeBron James supernova away from playing for another title in 2012.

And yet the biggest “What If?” of the most recent Big Three era is undoubtedly the 2008-09 season.

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Coming off their lone title victory the season before, the Celtics were an absolute juggernaut with players more comfortable in their roles and the team as a whole clicking on all cylinders. Boston started the season 27-2, ripping off 19 consecutive wins before a Christmas Day loss on the road to the Lakers. Another double-digit win streak followed soon after, this time a 12-game streak stretching into February.

But on February 19, during a game in Utah, Kvein Garnett came up hobbling with a knee injury after a dunk attempt. He sat out the next 13 games before trying to make a comeback. Garnett played sparingly in four straight games before aggravating the injury on a contact-less play in Orlando, and would not suit up again that season.

The Celtics were 44-11 when Garnett hobbled off in Utah. His absence alone did not derail the team. Boston went 18-9 the rest of the way, including winning eight of their last nine after he aggravated the injury in Orlando. Boston finished with 62 wins and was still in prime position for a playoff run.

Alas, an injury to backup big man Leon Powe in the second game of the playoffs further thinned Boston’s depth. The team needed seven games — and a total of seven overtimes — to dispatch the pesky Chicago Bulls in Round 1, then seemed to run out of gas in a seven-game series against Dwight Howard and the Magic.

For this week’s Playoff Rewind, we found ourselves gravitating back to Game 6 of the Orlando series. The Celtics were up 3-2 in the second-round series and had a chance to close out on the road. Boston had a double-digit lead in the second half but couldn’t hold on, mustering only 29 second-half points.

Asked about getting ready for Game 7, Celtics coach Doc Rivers joked in the aftermath, “I would take a week off and do it like the Super Bowl.”

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Even as Rajon Rondo asserted himself as an All-Star player — averaging nearly a triple-double in those playoffs at 16.9 points, 9.8 assists, 9.7 rebounds per contest — and even as Eddie House sizzled off the bench (shooting 48.6 percent beyond the arc and 51.9 percent from the field), the Celtics simply didn’t have the depth to survive their injuries. Brian Scalabrine logged the most minutes of any reserve at 20.5 minutes per game, this after not appearing in a single game in the playoffs during the 2008 title run.

Rivers had to lean on veterans like Stephon Marbury and Mikki Moore in spurts despite underwhelming returns.

With a healthy Garnett, it feels almost certain the Celtics would have made the NBA Finals and set up yet another showdown with the Lakers. Orlando dispatched Cleveland (and a still young LeBron James) in six games before getting throttled by Los Angeles in the championship round. Boston had a team-best net rating of plus-13.6 when Garnett was on the floor that season, and it dropped to a team-worst plus-2.8 when he wasn’t. A Powe/Davis platoon was able to help fill Garnett’s void early, but the loss of Powe really put a strain on a team thin on players that Rivers could confidently lean on in playoff situations.

The Big Three were a marvel for how quickly it all came together and their ability to win a title in their first season together.

But part of their legacy is wondering what could have been. If Garnett stays healthy, do they raise a second banner? Do we recall Boston’s Big Three era even more fondly if they make three straight NBA Finals from 2008-2010?

Maybe if the Celtics hadn’t drawn such a spunky Bulls team in Round 1, they would have gone further in 2009. Maybe if Powe doesn’t get injured, they would have had enough horses to survive against Howard and the Magic.

Ultimately, it was just another instance where health deprived us of seeing just how good this group could have been.