Kendrick Perkins is not the Thunder general manager, talking in qualifiers about financial realities.
Kendrick Perkins is a guy who believes in team whole heartedly. He did in Boston and it was hard on him when he was traded. But he’s found it again in Oklahoma City.
And he can’t see anyone letting that go over a few dollars. Or a few million. Remember that as you read this quote from him, via the twitter of the Thunder beat god Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman:
“We’re getting close with James, and we’re getting close to keeping our unit together… Once James gets here, it’s nothing to be said. He’ll see his family and that’s all he needs… So once he sees everybody’s faces that’s enough said.”
Harden has made it clear his preference is to stay with the Thunder. But as always, it’s about money. OKC management and owners would like a discount (to save them tax dollars) but Harden is a max player looking for a max deal — and if the Thunder won’t pay him that someone else will.
As I have said before, the Thunder know the price. They have known it before they signed Serge Ibaka to his extension at the start of this off-season. The only questions remaining is will they pay it, and if so when? And eventually I think they will.
By the way, Perkins also said that Eric Maynor looked good. Maynor is a good backup point guard who went down with an ACL tear last season, which is what prompted the Thunder to bring in Derek Fisher. Having Maynor back would be huge because he is such an upgrade in that role behind Russell Westbrook.