Tag: Perkins to Thunder

Rajon Rondo Kendrick Perkins

Kendrick Perkins returns to Boston for first time Monday


It’s going to be weird.

With all due respect to Jeff Green, nobody in the Boston locker room wanted the Kendrick Perkins trade to go down. Perk was part of the family, part of the foundation, part of the reason there is banner 17 at the Boston Garden. Celtics fans didn’t like it much either, or the results since the trade. We can rationalize why it happened — maybe why it needed to happen as a basketball business move — but nobody really liked it.

Perkins landed on his feet. He’s now playing on the Oklahoma City Thunder, a serious title contender and the favorite to come out of the West. Perkins was a piece the young Thunder needed — someone to protect the rim, some size and grit inside to match up with the long front lines of the Lakers and Grizzlies. He was maybe the last piece to their puzzle.

But it’s going to be weird. Which is what players said in the video above and told A. Sherrod Blakely of CSNNE.com.

“I don’t give a crap what uniform he has on,” Doc Rivers said. “He’s a Celtic for life, and he knows that.”

“We still talk daily,” Rajon Rondo said. “We’re still best friends.”

“Perk’s like my little brother,” Kevin Garnett said. “We speak quite frequently. I know when he first went out there, we spoke if not everyday, every other day. I know him and Rondo speak damn near on the hour.”

It’s not just going to be weird for the Celtics players and fans.

“It’ll be weird for me,” Perkins told CSNNE.com when asked about his first return to the Garden on Monday night. “Because you know, all I know — all I knew — was being a Celtic. But hey man, it’s a business….”

Said Perkins: “You know I’m always going to have love for Boston and the fans. I had some good times, some bad times, too. But they showed me a lot of love, lot of love.”

Rondo admits Perkins trade affected team more than it should have

NBA Finals Game 6:  Boston Celtics v Los Angeles Lakers

The numbers are pretty stark — Boston was 41-14 when Kendrick Perkins was traded at the deadline to Oklahoma City, brining back Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. They went 15-12 the rest of the way.

Danny Ainge justified the trade saying Green gave the Celtics needed depth on the wing and that they didn’t want to lose Perkins for nothing if free agency.

But the trade hit the Celtics locker room hard, harder than it should have Rajon Rondo told Marc Spears of Yahoo.

“It wasn’t like the man passed away or something,” Rondo said. “I think we put too much emphasis on it. It’s a business. He got traded. He’s very happy where he’s at. We still talk and I’m always going to have his back. It shouldn’t have affected us the way it affected us.”

Next season is going to be an interesting one in Boston, they are going to make one more run with the big four of Rondo, Paul Pierce, Kevin Garnett and Ray Allen. They also have Jermaine O’Neal and Avery Bradley inked.

After that, there is nobody. Jeff Green is a restricted free agent and you can bet the Celtics will match offers, and Delonte West wants to return. But there is going to be a major roster shake up around the Celtics aging core. Can they put together something — in a limited amount of time after the lockout ends — that can challenge Miami and Chicago for the Eastern Conference title?

We’ll see, but this will be the last kick at the can for the team as constructed. It’s going to be interesting in Boston.

Ainge says the Kendrick Perkins trade makes Boston better

Cleveland Cavaliers v Boston Celtics

I’ve heard plenty of Celtics fans tell me why I am wrong, but count me in the group that thinks trading away Kendrick Perkins will come back to haunt Boston.

I’m not alone, Dan Shaughnessy ripped Ainge in Sports Illustrated when the trade went down. But Monday he gave Ainge a chance to defend the trade.

“I think we’re stronger. I think our offense and our defense will be every bit as good, if not better as long as we get some bodies healthy….

“First of all, we were leading the conference because of Shaq. We had a better record with Shaq than we did with Perk. Our offense was better and our defense was at least the same. I don’t think Perk is Perk yet. I hope that he becomes that for Oklahoma City’s sake. We thought it was going to take some time for Perk. He wasn’t the shot-blocker or the rebounder that he’s been in the past. We think that by adding Jeff Green (Green had 21 against the Warriors last Friday), Nenad Krstic, and Troy Murphy we think we’re a better team than we were. Shaq was starting for us when we had the great run this year. Baby (Glen Davis) was finishing for us. So we basically lost middle minutes.

Ainge has more trust in Shaq to be able to perform consistently in the playoffs — especially on the defensive end — than I do. He thinks more of Jeff Green than I do.

But Ainge knew the risks he was taking in a season where the Celtics had a real shot at a title. He would not have made a move he knew jeopardized the Celtics title team. He knew how this would be received by the veterans in the locker room

Credit Ainge for making a bold play. We’ll see how it turns out in May and June.

Kendrick Perkins agrees to contract extension with Thunder

NBA Finals Game 4: Los Angeles Lakers v Boston Celtics

UPDATE 12:16 pm: We have the financial figures — $34.8 million over four years, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo. That works out to an average of $8.7 million a year and is about $12 million more than Boston could offer.

Boston was hamstrung with its offer because it is over the salary cap, which means they could only offer an extension of the existing contract with very specific raises. Oklahoma City is under the salary cap so they could be more creative — they increased Perkins salary THIS season from $2.3 million to $6.7 million, then extended that deal into future years with the raises allowed in the current CBA. Very smart and creative. Also, there are bonuses in the deal that could have Perkins making even more.

10: 52 am: Take that, Danny Ainge.

Kendrick Perkins — traded last week in a shocking move from Boston to Oklahoma City because he wouldn’t sign a contract extension — has signed just such an extension with the Oklahoma City Thunder, according to the Oklahoman. Terms of the deal are not yet known, although it almost certainly is for more money than Boston offered.

Oklahoma City reached this deal with Perkins before he ever put on the uniform of the team — he is out a couple more weeks with a knee injury.

Boston had offered a four-year extension of Perkins current contract (with raises) which came to a little more than $22 million. Perkins people rejected it asking for closer to twice that. That was the max Boston could offer because they are over the salary cap, because Oklahoma City was under the cap they could offer more money.

The rejection of their extension offer made Celtics GM Ainge question if he could sign Perkins at all next summer as a free agent, so he traded the center away rather than lose him for nothing.

This signing has to be a punch in the gut to Ainge, although he did get wing Jeff Green and center Nenad Krstic in the deal. Which is nice and all. But Celtic veterans were unhappy when the deal went down, to see a guy considered part of the Celtics core, a rock on their defensive back line, moved at the deadline.

Oklahoma City had some advantages for Perkins. It is closer to where he was raised in Beaumont, Texas, and Perkins was never a bright lights/big city guy.

Are the Oklahoma City Thunder contenders now?

Oklahoma City Thunder v Charlotte Bobcats

Oklahoma City is your trade deadline winner.

Last season in the playoffs, the young and athletic Thunder tested the Lakers in the playoffs first round, but when push came to shove the Lakers shoved harder. They had Andrew Bynum and Pau Gasol and the Thunder had no answer. Same thing when the two teams played a few weeks ago.

Now the Thunder have an answer.

A big answer. Kendrick Perkins, one of the most ferocious defenders in the paint the league has to offer. A shot blocker and good one-on-one post defender. A guy who will stand his ground. And he is backed up by Nazr Mohammed, so they Thunder bring a good defensive big off the bench, too. All that allows Nick Collison to play more four, where he will be more comfortable.

Combine that with the scoring you know you get from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook and…

Are the Thunder title contenders?

Maybe. When a good team addresses its biggest deficiency, you have to take notice.

The key is if the arrival of Perkins sparks an overall defensive turnaround. Last season, while we were all being wowed by Durant and the Thunder offense, they were a solid defensive team. This season they are giving up 3.5 more points per 100 possessions than they did a year before as teams are shooting better and being forced into fewer turnovers. Not having a big man in the middle to protect the rim was an issue, but the Thunder didn’t have a rim-protecting big last season and did better on defense.

Plugging in Perkins and Mohammed alone will not be enough. The perimeter defense, the contesting of shots, the willingness to fight through picks has to improve also. Everything has to get better.

There are other questions. As ESPN’s Kevin Arnovitz points out, Perkins has no shooting range. Having him in the game allows the big man from the other team to stay close to the rim and help defend better. Teams now will sag off the Thunder, clog the lane and dare them to beat them with the jumper

This move also comes with risks. One is Perkins knee, which is just 13 games off major surgery and already he has tweaked it again.

And there is the fact Perkins is a free agent this summer and could walk. Boston GM Danny Ainge seemed dismayed by what Perkins was asking in his next contract, so he decided to move him now. But most NBA players really only get one or two kicks at the can — the chance to get a contract that will set them up comfortably for life. In Perkins case maybe his family for generations. He gets one shot and he wants to go big, and you can’t fault him for that. This is his chance. And that may be too rich for Oklahoma City’s blood.

Whatever the outcome this was a brilliant move by Thunder GM Sam Presti. Jeff Green was going to make more than the Thunder wanted to pay him, so they shipped him out to fill their biggest need.

And if Perkins defensive energy becomes contagious, they may have a contender in Oklahoma City. And this trade will look even better.