Where are the insiders now?

JB JB_Celticsstuff at Comcast.net
Thu Jun 28 21:23:10 CDT 2007

On Jun 28, 2007, at 10:19 PM, R Howe wrote:

> Where is the "official" nba announcement of the trade with details ?

Sweeping changes

Sonics take Durant, ship Allen to Celts in 4-player deal

SEATTLE (AP) -- Kevin Durant is headed to Seattle, and Ray Allen is  
headed to Boston.

New Sonics' general manager Sam Presti pulled off a stunning set of  
moves during the early stages of Thursday night's NBA draft, sending  
Allen and the 35th overall pick in the second round to Boston for  
Wally Szczerbiak, Delonte West and the No. 5 pick. Boston selected  
Georgetown forward Jeff Green for Seattle with the fifth pick.  
Seattle will also receive a future second-round pick from the Celtics.

It was a shocking move, sending Seattle's most popular player,  
leading scorer and seven-time All-Star back to the Northeast where he  
was a college star at Connecticut.

"We are thrilled to have Kevin. But at the same time, to make the  
decision to move a player -- and a person -- like Ray Allen was  
tremendously difficult," Presti said. "Boston really pursued this.  
What started as a smaller conversation became fulfilled. Their  
pursuit was impeccable."

The easy part for Presti on Thursday was selecting Durant -- the  
Texas star and The Associated Press college player of the year --  
with the No. 2 pick after Portland took Ohio State center Greg Oden  
first overall.

When the trade was announced on ESPN minutes before the Sonics chose  
Durant, 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 and green and gold streamers flew.

"I want to personally compliment Ray Allen; Ray Allen the person and  
Ray Allen the outstanding, professional player," said team chairman  
Clay Bennett. "We appreciate the career of Ray Allen in this market.  
And we wish him the very best."

Allen was the face of the Sonics, and easily their most popular  
player. But for all of his offensive prowess, Allen was a defensive  
liability, and since arriving on June 7, Presti has preached defense.

Allen averaged a career-high 26.4 points last season, including a  
career-best 54 against Utah in January. But his season was shortened  
by injuries. He went to the bench for good in late March and played  
just 55 games.

Allen had surgery on April 7 to remove bone spurs from both his  
ankles. Earlier this month, he said his recovery is on schedule.

"You're always listening when you come into a situation like this.  
You don't wake up one day and look to move a player like a Ray  
Allen," Presti said. "Someone has to come get them and Boston did  
that here."

The 18-year-old Durant was celebrating with his family in New York on  
Thursday night, and was looking forward to playing again with Green.  
The two briefly played on a summer team in high school.

Durant was also relieved to finally know which Northwest city he  
would call home.

"Now, I can start shopping for a home," he said.

With Durant, Green, Szczerbiak and free agent Rashard Lewis, the  
Sonics have four players that play essentially the same position.  
Presti sees this glut as a benefit, not a hindrance.

"What we see in these players is tremendous versatility," Presti  
said. "We see guys that are skilled with the ball and have a great  
size-to-skill ratio."

Green was an early entrant to the draft, after being the Big East  
player of the year as a junior at Georgetown. Green averaged 14.3  
points and 6.3 rebounds in helping the Hoyas reach the NCAA regional  

The 6-foot-9, 235-pound Green is likely to be a power forward in the  
NBA but did not work out for the Sonics before the draft.

Szczerbiak has had ankle problems in recent seasons. He played just  
32 games last season before undergoing ankle surgery, and averaged 15  
points. West improved in his second season, averaging 12.2 points and  
starting 47 games for the Celtics.

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