The Boston Celtics traded the draft rights to fifth overall pick Jeff Green, Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and a 2008 second round draft pick to the Seattle SuperSonics for Ray Allen and the draft rights to 35th overall pick Glen Davis on this very day in 2007.
For what it’s worth, Trent Plaisted eventually became that future second round pick and he never played a single game in the NBA.
Believe it or not, people hated this trade at first and Danny Ainge took a lot of heat for it. Boston was listed as a “loser” in your cliché post-draft “winners & losers” articles while they received many low marks in your equally cliché “draft grades” columns. The Celtics were coming off a miserable 24-58 season and most people wanted Ainge to fold up the tents and build around Al Jefferson, whoever they drafted with the fifth overall pick and whatever they could get in return by trading Paul Pierce. Ainge had other plans though as he did the exact opposite by keeping Pierce and giving up that top five pick in order to land a 31-year old shooting guard.
Some of this was fair. They had won just 24 games the year before and even if Ray Allen was worth 20 wins – which is a pretty generous number – you still don’t make many waves as a 44 win team in the NBA; plus you had just gotten older on top of that. 32nd overall pick Gabe Pruitt and Davis were both high second round picks with some upside, but the Celtics already carried a number of young players just like them – such as Tony Allen, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Gerald Green and Allan Ray – so there really wasn’t any reason to get excited over adding extra questionable depth pieces.
But it’s just like Ainge to always thinking a few roster moves ahead. Earlier in the month, the Celtics and Minnesota Timberwolves agreed on a trade that would have sent perennial MVP candidate Kevin Garnett to Boston but the star power forward refused to waive his no-trade clause because he didn’t see an opportunity to win. Acquiring Ray Allen changed this and trade talks heated up once again between Minnesota and Boston, eventually ending with the two teams coming to terms on July 31, 2007 to steal all the thunder away from the Major League Baseball trade deadline.
Players have come and gone in the ten years since this trade, but Ainge still takes heat for almost every move he makes or doesn’t make. With that not looking to change anytime soon, get ready for a fun hot take filled free agency period in which you probably hate what Ainge does, even when it turns out to be the best thing for Boston.