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LEEInks List: Most shocking trades of this century in Boston sports

02.28.11 at 2:28 pm ET
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The Celtics‘€™ trade of Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic on Thursday marked the second surprising trade of the winter for Boston sports teams. Back in December, the Red Sox got Adrian Gonzalez from the Padres for prospects Casey Kelly, Anthony Rizzo and Reymond Fuentes. That got us thinking about other shocking trades by the hometown teams this century. Here are the top dozen.

12. Nov. 24, 2005: Sox land Josh Beckett and Mike Lowell

Top prospect Hanley Ramirez had been mentioned in a number of rumors, but it appeared that he was pretty much untouchable. That was until the Sox sent the shortstop to the Marlins — along with prospects Anibal Sanchez, Jesus Delgado and Harvey Garcia — in exchange for Beckett, Lowell and reliever Guillermo Mota. As expected, Ramirez turned into a superstar, but Beckett and Lowell became key parts of the 2007 World Series team. Most would probably agree that this deal was a win-win.

11. Nov. 28, 2003: Curt Schilling comes to Boston

Schilling was just one year removed from back-to-back 20-win seasons and consecutive Cy Young runner-ups when the Sox acquired him from the Diamondbacks for pitchers Casey Fossum, Brandon Lyon and Jorge De La Rosa. Lyon and De La Rosa went on to have serviceable careers, but Schilling helped lead the Sox to two World Series titles, posting another 20-win season and Cy Young runner-up in 2004 along the way.

10. Sept. 18, 2009: B’€™s ship Phil Kessel to Toronto

The Bruins sending Kessel to the Maple Leafs wasn’€™t a total shock because everyone knew the B’€™s probably wouldn’€™t be able to keep all three of Kessel, David Krejci and Milan Lucic long term. But it’€™s still surprising any time you trade a 21-year-old former fifth overall pick who was the leading goal-scorer on your first-place team the previous season. The deal ended up looking much better when the first-round pick Boston got in return turned out to be the second overall selection, which became Tyler Seguin.

9. March 6, 2000: Ray Bourque heads to Colorado

The trade itself wasn’€™t shocking ‘€” everyone knew Bourque wanted a chance to win the Stanley Cup and everyone knew the Bruins were happy to accommodate the legend ‘€” but just seeing Bourque in another jersey was. After 21-plus seasons in Boston, Bourque was sent to the Avalanche along with Dave Andreychuk in exchange for Brian Rolston, Martin Grenier, Samuel Pahlsson and a first-round pick. Bourque and the Avs went on to win the Cup the next season.

8. Oct. 20, 2003: Celts deal Antoine Walker

The Celtics trading Walker to the Mavericks was shocking on several levels. First, Walker was coming off back-to-back All-Star seasons and was in the prime of his career. Second, the deal came just 10 days before the start of the season. And third, all Boston got back was Raef LaFrentz, Chris Mills and Jiri Welsch, none of whom ever amounted to much of anything, which came as a surprise to no one.

7. Sept. 6, 2009: Pats send Richard Seymour to Oakland

Bill Belichick and the Patriots have made it clear that they have no problem parting ways with big stars. They traded Drew Bledsoe in 2002, cut Lawyer Milloy in 2003, released Ty Law in 2005 and traded Mike Vrabel in early 2009. But the biggest surprise at the time it happened was the trade of Seymour to the Raiders for a first-round pick in this year’€™s draft. Seymour was a five-time Pro Bowler, three-time first-team All-Pro and a defensive anchor on three Super Bowl teams, and he was still just 29 years old.

6. Oct. 6, 2010: Randy Moss returns to Minnesota

A year and a month after dealing Seymour, the Patriots made even bigger shockwaves when they traded Moss to the Vikings four games into the season in exchange for a third-round pick in this year’€™s draft. Moss said after a Week 1 win over the Jets that he felt unwanted in New England, but the situation appeared to have been smoothed over ‘€” until he was dealt, of course. The Pats offense turned out to be just fine, and Moss finished the season with just 28 catches for 393 yards.

5. Nov. 30, 2005: B’€™s trade Joe Thornton

Thornton was a former first overall pick, the team captain and the team’€™s leading scorer for the third straight season when he was traded to the Sharks 23 games into the season for Marco Sturm, Wayne Primeau and Brad Stuart. Sturm went on to a solid career with the Bruins, and Primeau and Stuart were parlayed into Chuck Kobasew and Andrew Ference, but Thornton tallied 92 points in 58 games after the trade and earned MVP honors that season.

4. July 31, 2008: Manny Ramirez is finally dealt

It seemed like Ramirez trade rumors surfaced every trade deadline and every offseason for a few years, but it also seemed like it was never actually going to happen. Then it did. The Red Sox sent Ramirez to the Dodgers in a three-team deal that also sent Brandon Moss and Craig Hansen to the Pirates and brought back Jason Bay. Ramirez had a phenomenal stretch run for the Dodgers in 2008, but his production ‘€” and playing time ‘€” has dropped since. Bay gave the Sox a very good season and a half.

3. July 31, 2004: Sox say goodbye to Nomar Garciaparra

Garciaparra will forever be remembered as an all-time Red Sox great, and this trade will forever be remembered as an all-time big one. The Sox sent Garciaparra and prospect Matt Murton to the Cubs in a four-team deal that landed them Orlando Cabrera and Doug Mientkiewicz. The trade, of course, turned out to be a great one for the Sox, as Cabrera and Mientkiewicz helped them break the curse. Garciaparra, meanwhile, never again put up the kind of numbers that became commonplace during his tenure with Boston.

2. June 28, 2007: Celts get Ray Allen

Greg Oden and Kevin Durant, whom the Celtics missed out on in the lottery, were the big stories going into the 2007 draft, but it was the Celts who stole the show. In a trade that seemed curious for both teams, Boston acquired Allen and the rights to 35th pick Glen Davis for Delonte West, Wally Szczerbiak and the rights to fifth pick Jeff Green (yes, the same one the Celts just got back). Of course, the move made a lot more sense for the Celts a month later when ‘€¦

1. July 31, 2007 : Kevin Garnett completes the Big Three

The reason the Allen trade raised eyebrows was because the Celtics appeared to have a solid foundation of young players to build around, but then they suddenly traded part of that foundation for a veteran. With the Garnett trade, though, Danny Ainge completed the drastic shift from rebuilding team to immediate title contender. It took a lot to get Garnett ‘€” Al Jefferson, Gerald Green, Ryan Gomes, Sebastian Telfair, Theo Ratliff and a first-round pick ‘€” but it paid off big time when the Celts raised banner No. 17 to the rafters in June 2008.

Read More: Curt Schilling, Joe Thornton, kevin garnett, Manny Ramirez