In this era of 10 minute oil changes, 1 hour photo developing, and instant everything, we tend to get impatient with anything that takes awhile. This includes basketball. Where in most cases a little impatience won't change much, in basketball impatience can be the difference between continual mediocrity and building a contender. Pitino was impatient with Chauncey Billups and traded him for Kenny Anderson so he would have an instant PG instead of trying to develop Billups into the PG of the future for the Celtics. Billups helped to lead the Pistons to championships while the players we traded him for are out of the league.
Jim O'Brien was impatient with Joe Johnson and traded him for instant help to propel them down the stretch. Joe Johnson is now helping other teams get better while the two players we traded him for (Delk and Rodgers) are aging role players. However, we may get Johnson back again if Danny goes for the proposed Atlanta trade.
Another example of impatience is Jermaine O'Neal. I see any number of message board posts saying that we should get O'Neal and how good he is. Well, it took O'Neal years to get that way. He was drafted out of high school by Portland in '96 and only averaged 4.1 points and 2.8 rebounds his first year. Second year he upped it to 4.5 points and 3.4 rebounds. In O'Neal's 3rd year in Portland, his averages dropped to 2.5 points and 2.7 rebounds and played in only 36 games due to injury. If he was in Boston I can just read all the posts saying what a bust he is. (Is this sounding familiar by any chance?) In O'Neal's 4th year he averaged 3.9 points and 3.3 rebounds. This kid showed promise in high school. Enough that he was the 17th pick in the first round. But yet in 4 years he didn't seem to be showing a lot of progress. Then, in 2000, he was traded to Indiana for Dale Davis. In his 5th year in the league he finally started to show the talent that was promised when he was drafted. He averaged 12.9 points and 9.8 rebounds in his 5th season. If Portland had just a little more patience, they could have this young and promising All Star center on their team. J O'Neal has continued to improve his averages every year after that break out year.
By now, you know where I am going with this, I am sure. The Shaq's, the CP3's, the LeBron James's, the Kobe's who come into the league and are impressive right away are few and far between. Centers and PG's especially take more time to develop. Especially when you draft a player out of high school or an underclassman, you have to realize that they probably won't be stars right away. Especially with high school players, it is like a whole new world. They have to learn the game all over again on the pro level as it is nothing like the high school game. Along with that, they have to learn to live on their own for the first time, learn how to condition their bodies for the NBA season and their whole lives are in upheaval.
Now if we compare Perk to J O'Neal, Perk is ahead of O'Neal in terms of his game and development over the first 4 years of his career. Perk played only 19 minutes his entire first season while he reamade his body to NBA condition. Perk didn't get much more playing time his second season. He didn't get much more playing time his second season as he was playing behind both Blount and Raef. His third season, just as he started to get playing time after the trade of Blount, he injured his shoulder. He ended up getting surgery in the offseason and wasn't able to work with Clifford Ray over last season. Then, just as his shoulder healed, he developed the plantar fasciitis. But the pain in his foot never stopped him and he played through it showing a level of Celtic Pride rarely seen these days. I read a lot of posts that say that Perk will never be more than a back up center and others that call him a bust. But this kind of thinking is why J O'Neal is an All Star in Indiana and not Portland and why Chauncey Billips led the Pistons to a championship and not the Celtics. I truly believe that Perk will break out this season and hopefully it will be for the Celtics.
Sure we can trade our young kids with so much promise for a player who can help us right now... but just as Chauncey, O'Neal and Joe Johnson are starring in the league long after the veteran players they were traded for have fallen by the wayside, if we trade our youth, next year or 2 years from now we will be in the same position and OUR young players will be breaking out and starring and leading their teams to championships when whoever we get for them is long gone. It would be to our benefit if Danny keeps the core of this team together. I am for the Lewis or JJ trades as we can get them and still keep the core of the team together.
There is also a lot to be said for chemistry. This team has spent 3 years learning each other's tendencies and moves and learning to play together. We can see the benefits of chemistry with teams like Detroit and San Antonio where the teams have kept the same core unit together for many years. I know that talent has to go along with chemistry because chemistry alone doesn't get you there. But, I think we do have talent and the young players that Danny drafted out of high school have been in the league now for 2,3, and 4 years and they have grown as players and are ready to break out in the next year or two. That plus chemistry along with our draft pick and perhaps a young veteran added will be enough to get this team to the playoffs and beyond.
I for one hope that Danny has learned that patience is a virtue and that being impatient may just doom the Celtics to a perpetual state of mediocrity.