Friday , Jun , 29 , 2007 Oly Sandor

Ray Allen To Boston Celtics, Jeff Green, Wally Szczerbiak, & Delonte West Join Kevin Durant & Seattle Sonics

The Sonics didn’t just draft Kevin Durant- they gave him the keys to the entire franchise … Seattle, after selecting the skinny swing, traded franchise star Ray Allen to Boston for the #5 pick and two players … Is it too much too soon for Durant? … Click here for this story and analysis …

ESPN reports on the Boston Celtics and Seattle SuperSonics’ draft day trade:

The Boston Celtics acquired guard Ray Allen from the Seattle Supersonics on Thursday night for Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak and the No. 5 first-round pick, according to ESPN.com’s Andy Katz. Boston selected Georgetown forward Jeff Green with the fifth pick for Seattle.

"Boston really pursued this. What started as a smaller conversation became fulfilled. Their pursuit was impeccable," said new Sonics’ general manager Sam Presti. The Celtics also get the Sonics’ 35th pick in 2007 as part of the deal.

When word of the trade of Seattle’s franchise cornerstone spread just minutes before the Sonics chose Texas star Kevin Durant with the No. 2 pick, almost everyone in the crowd of about 2,000 season-ticket holders and invitees at a draft party at Seattle Center booed, hissed and pointed their thumbs down. Many were wearing gold Allen jerseys with his No. 34.

Those same fans cheered moments later as Durant’s selection was announced. Green and gold streamers flew.

Allen underwent surgery in April on both of his ankles. He called it a season in late March, unable to tolerate the pain in his left ankle as a result of inflammation from bone spurs. Statistically, it was the seven-time All-Star’s finest season scoring, averaging 26.4 points per game, including a career-best 54-point performance against Utah in January. But the ankle and an early season foot injury limited Allen to just 55 games.

It was just one of a number of debilitating injuries for the Sonics, who finished 31-51.

"I want to personally compliment Ray Allen, Ray Allen the person and Ray Allen the outstanding, professional player," said team chairman Clay Bennett.

My Take: It’s official. The ares team. On the night, the Sonics drafted Durant, they also traded franchise star Ray Allen to the for Jeff Green, Wally Szczerbiak, and Delonte West.

Whether Durant’s ready to lead Seattle is irrelevant. He has no choice. There’s nobody else-even if is re-signed. And that’s a big if.

I understand Seattle’s reasons for making this trade. They’re going young and it’s time to re-brand the entire franchise. The new GM wants tall, interchangeable parts. Green is a nice piece and West is a tough combo guard.

The Sonics also save 27 million dollars with this move-Allen makes 53 million over the next three seasons, while Szczerbiak pulls-in 25 million over the next two seasons.

But there’s something to be said about having a veteran mentor a young rookie. For example, Joe Dumars certainly helped back in the day with Detroit. And Sam Mitchell had ’s back in Minnesota.

Durant won’t have this luxury. Opposing defenses will zero-in on the skinny swing because there’s nobody else on the Sonics. However, I do believe Durant will adjust and eventually be fine.

I’m not sure how Allen and will work in Boston. Both of these guys like to handle the ball and serve as the primary option on offense. Of course, there’s only one ball, so there could be problems.

However, good players should  be able to play together. And Allen and Pierce are both exceptional ballers. So the Celtics certainly upgraded their talent with this deal.

There was some concern about Allen’s age-he’s turning 32 this year. This won’t be a problem because ‘Jesus Shuttleworth’ is one of the NBA’s fittest players. Keep in mind Boston only has a three-to-four year window with Pierce, so the franchise isn’t thinking long-term anyway.

Best of all, the Celtics aren’t dropping 12.5 million dollars on Wally’s World! By the way, Szczerbiak’s the new Keith van Horn-an overpaid player with no position and no permanent home.

Winner: I believe Boston gets the best of this deal in the short-term, while Seattle prospers down the road. Call it a draw!

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