In 2004, both teams were part of a huge four-way deal that saw the Pistons acquire then All-Star Rasheed Wallace. He helped them win a championship, and there is no way they would have won it if it were not for his services. The Celtics played a huge role in that as Pistons GM Joe Dumars needed someone to take Chucky Atkins contract off his hands.
Ainge was willing to roll the dice, executing a trade that saw the Celtics ultimately ship off Mike James and Chris Mills for Atkins and Lindsay Hunter. The team eventually waived Hunter considering he had shown no interest in ever wearing a Celtics uniform.
Fast forward to today, and this deal really did nothing in terms of shaping the organization’s future. They were never going to win anything with or without Atkins, so the deal basically just happened with no serious ramifications to the team.
Atkins really did nothing of impact during his tenure in Boston. He played one year for the franchise and actually played well during his 24-game stint. He averaged 12 points and five assists per game and was a veteran influence in an otherwise young locker room.
He was never the most talented player by any means, but he was the sort of player near championship-caliber teams craved. He was one of the more underrated players in the game as well, considering that no one would really ever mention his name as a quality player.
The Celtics made a big deal in 2004 in terms of sheer size, but in terms of the personnel they acquired, it did nothing to shape their future as we enter another season in 2013-2014.
Rob Lunder covers the Boston Celtics for Rant Sports. For all Celtics news go to the team home page on Rant Sports. Follow him on Twitter @rlunder18