According to Gary Washburn of the Boston Herald, Kendrick Perkins could get amnestied by the Oklahoma City Thunder this upcoming offseason. This is what he said regarding the situation on 98.5 The Sports Hub.
“His contract is kind of an anchor at this point. He has not been statistically productive for the Thunder; the leadership is there but if you look at the numbers its nothing close to what he did in Boston. So I do think it’s a possibility,” said Washburn. “There are still some strong feelings for him in Boston.”
“You’re talking about Perkins getting amnestied and still getting his money, so obviously he’s not going to demand the same amount from the Celtics,” said Washburn. “I would say let’s see what happens with the Thunder this year; if they win the championship do they dump him – probably not.”
Unfortunately, reality sets in quickly. The Boston Celtics are currently over the salary cap, which puts Boston at a disadvantage if they have interest in bringing back Kendrick Perkins. According to the amnesty rule, teams below the salary cap get first dibs on players who have been cut from their teams, so unless all those teams pass on Perkins, it’s not likely that a reunion will occur.
When Boston made the trade that sent Perkins to the Oklahoma City Thunder, it wasn’t popular among the Celtics fan base, and it certainly was a tough move to make for management. No matter the excuses that were made for the reasons behind the trade, Boston could not afford to keep both Rajon Rondo and Kendrick Perkins which makes sense. However, one side of the spectrum that has been overlooked the past two and a half years is how the trade effected Kendrick Perkins. We all know that Boston’s defense hasn’t been the same, but Perkins’ individual game suffered just as badly playing for Oklahoma City.
From the beginning, I knew it wasn’t a good fit for the Thunder or Perkins. Oklahoma City runs the up-tempo offense on nearly every possession. Perkins was never known to run the floor well, and being on a team that always looks to push the tempo, his offensive productivity has plummeted as a result. This season he is only averaging 4.5 points per game and grabbing 6 rebounds, while in 2010 he was putting up 10.1 points per game to go along with 7.6 rebounds. Some may attribute his struggles to the torn ACL he suffered in the 2010 NBA Finals, but in the following season he was still averaging 7.3 ppg with the Boston Celtics.
Perkins contract may be an “anchor” to the Oklahoma City Thunder, but if they didn’t misuse him, or he was sent to a different team, his stats alone would prove his contract’s worth. Would I like to see Perkins return to the Celtics? Absolutely. Not only would Boston’s interior defense benefit, but Kevin Garnett wouldn’t be required to do as much, and he could return to his natural position of power forward.
As I stated earlier, Boston’s chances of acquiring Kendrick Perkins if he got amnestied are not good. But who is to say that Danny Ainge wouldn’t try working on a trade that could send him back to the Celtics? It’s going to be an interesting development when the offseason begins, but one thing is definitely certain, if the Celtics sign Perkins, Boston will welcome him with open arms.