Sonics deal Allen to Celtics
New York, NY (Sports Network) – The SuperSonics and Celtics made a big trade
on draft night, with Boston acquiring shooting guard Ray Allen in exchange for
guard Delonte West, forwards Wally Szczerbiak and Jeff Green, who was chosen
as the No. 5 overall pick on Thursday.
Also part of the deal, Boston got Seattle’s No. 35 pick in the second round,
LSU forward Glen Davis, while the Sonics will receive a future second-round
Green’s move to the Sonics means an overhaul to the team’s frontcourt, as he
joins Texas’ Kevin Durant, the No. 2 overall pick in Thursday’s draft. Green,
the Big East Player of the Year and a Third-Team All-American as a junior, is
also known as a standout defender who uses his strong 6-foot-9, 235-pound
frame to its fullest. He averaged a team-best 14.3 points and had 6.4 rebounds
a game for the Hoyas last season.
Allen missed the final month of last season with bone spurs in his left ankle.
Before then he was averaging a career-best 26.4 ppg and had led the Sonics in
scoring on 40 occasions.
The Celtics had the second worst record in the league in 2006-07, as they
finished with a dismal 24-58 record. Now, though, Allen will join sharp-
shooter Paul Pierce in Beantown, giving the Celtics a potent 1-2 combination.
“Coming into tonight, we knew we were going to add a great player with the
second pick and we are thrilled to have Kevin,” Sonics new general manager Sam
Presti said. “But, at the same time, making the decision to move a player and
a person like Ray Allen was tremendously difficult. What I can tell you is
that Boston really pursued this. Absolutely understand that I think Ray is
going to be a great fit for them. I’m just glad Paul Pierce and him are in the
A seven-time All-Star selection, Allen, who turns 32 next month, has averaged
21.5 points over his career, which started in 1996 in Milwaukee. The fifth
overall pick in the 1996 NBA Draft by Minnesota, Allen was acquired by the
Sonics from Milwaukee on February 20, 2003 and has been regarded as one of the
best shooting guards in the league.
“I could not be more excited about coming to Boston to play for the Celtics,”
said Allen, who played his college ball at Connecticut. “I am glad to be back
in the New England area and cannot wait to get onto the floor with players the
caliber of Paul Pierce and Al Jefferson.”
The Celtics may not be done dealing, as they are still rumored to be in the
hunt for Kevin Garnett from the Timberwolves.
“No question, this team, they have no excuses, this team out there,” Celtics
director of basketball operations Danny Ainge said. “These guys can score the
ball. We have experience, we have shooting. We have scoring and knowledge. And
I’m not saying our team is perfect and is a perfect fit right now. We still
have work to do this summer to prepare us even more.”
The arrival of Durant and Green gives the Sonics a much-needed boost to their
frontcourt, and that could prove dominant if Seattle can keep Rashard Lewis
from leaving via free agency. Seattle is coming off a disappointing 31-51
season in which it missed the playoffs for the second straight year.
“Now that Ray is gone, and I think Rashard is a free agent, I’d love to get
him back,” Durant said. “He’s a great player and one of my idols as well and
now he’s my teammate well, I hope he’s my teammate. If he’s there, it’s going
to be a plus.”
The 30-year-old Szczerbiak joins his third team since breaking into the league
with Minnesota in 1999. He averaged 15 points last season, but was limited to
32 games due to ankle injuries.
West, who was moved to the shooting guard spot and then back to the point this
past season, averaged 12.2 points.