Kendrick Perkins Rumors
May 18 at 12:47pm CST By Luke Adams
Following the Thunder's second-round loss to the Grizzlies, one player under the microscope is Kendrick Perkins, whose postseason stat sheet featured as many turnovers (24) as points (24) and nearly as many fouls (39) as rebounds (41). With two years and about $18.63MM left on his contract, Perkins would appear to be a prime amnesty candidate, but GM Sam Presti doesn't seem to be seriously weighing that option.
"We just haven't considered using the provision," Presti said, according to Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman (Twitter link). "We think Perk has a lot of value to our team."
Besides Perkins, the Thunder still have three more amnesty-eligible players on the roster. Kevin Durant, of course, won't be amnestied, and Nick Collison and Thabo Sefolosha appear unlikely candidates as well, considering they're both on inexpensive deals and continue to contribute positive minutes.
That leaves Perkins as the most logical candidate, though Oklahoma City could always let its amnesty provision go unused. If Perkins were to be amnestied, the Thunder would need to find another frontcourt player in addition to paying Perkins. Clearing the big man's $8.98MM cap hit also wouldn't create much, if any, cap space to sign a replacement, since the team already projects to be well over the cap next season.
We'll see what happens when this year's amnesty week begins on July 10th, but for now it looks like Perkins will stay put. Assuming he remains in Oklahoma City for all of next season, he'd be amnesty-eligible one more time in July 2014.
May 16 at 3:55pm CST By Luke Adams
Earlier this week, Dirk Nowitzki addressed the Mavericks' desire to bring some major talent on board this summer in free agency, going into a little detail about the pitch he expects potential targets to receive. Nowitzki spoke about the same topic today, reiterating that it's "pretty obvious" he'll be in line for a pay cut in the summer of 2014, which will allow the team to flexible in handing out bigger-money contracts to other players. Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News has the details and the quotes from Nowitzki.
Here are a few more odds and ends from around the Western Conference:
- Although he's the likeliest amnesty candidate on the Thunder's roster, Kendrick Perkins told reporters, including Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman (Twitter link), that he's "pretty sure" he'll still be on the team next season.
- Derek Fisher also told the media, including Ramona Shelburne of ESPNLosAngeles.com (Twitter link), that he'd like to return to the Thunder, adding that he isn't considering retirement yet.
- If the Lakers explore the free agent market this summer, they'll likely be shopping for bargains. Jovan Buha of ESPNLosAngeles.com identifies a few potential targets for the club.
- With the Spurs and Pacers each one win away from their respective Conference Finals, Dan McCarney of the San Antonio Express-News recalls the Kawhi Leonard/George Hill swap consummated by the two teams, calling it "the definition of a win/win trade."
February 20 at 1:02pm CST By Luke Adams
1:02pm: Coro follows up on his initial report, tweeting that apparently talk of a deal between the Suns and Thunder was just a "league rumor" during the All-Star break, rather than the two sides actually talking about it. So it sounds as if there's nothing to this one.
12:31pm: The proposed Gortat/Perkins deal is "not going to happen," according to John Gambadoro of 620 KTAR in Phoenix (via Twitter).
7:34am: According to Paul Coro of the Arizona Republic, the Thunder have been exploring a deal with the Suns that would send Marcin Gortat to Oklahoma City. In the hypothetical trade, the Suns would receive Kendrick Perkins, Jeremy Lamb, and a first-round pick from the Thunder in exchange for Gortat and P.J. Tucker.
Coro writes that the Suns would have some interest in Perkins, who would fit the team's new defensive culture, and that Phoenix likely would have drafted Lamb 14th overall last June had the Rockets not taken him two spots earlier.
Perkins' contract, which is more expensive and lasts a year longer than Gortat's, isn't viewed as a favorable one, and Lamb's stock may have fallen a little since last summer, so I'd imagine the first-round pick in the deal would be Toronto's pick. That choice, acquired by the Thunder in the James Harden trade, figures to be more valuable than any of Oklahoma City's own picks or the Mavericks' heavily-protected first-rounder.
Still, according to Coro, it's not likely that the Suns pull the trigger on a deal with the Thunder. Coro reports that it's more likely Phoenix simply stands pat to protect its future first-round picks and cap space, which should give the club room for a max free agent this summer. Small deals involving players like Sebastian Telfair or Jermaine O'Neal are also possible.
November 26 at 9:51am CST By Luke Adams
It's been nearly two years since Kendrick Perkins was traded to the Thunder by the Celtics, and while he took some time to adjust to the change of scenery, the big man is very happy to be in Oklahoma City. Perkins tells Alex Kennedy of HoopsWorld that he hopes to remain with the Thunder long-term, even beyond when his current contract ends.
"I love it here," Perkins said. "It is a business, so I have to make sure I
do my job and we do our job, and that’s trying to win a couple of
championships. Then, the rest will take care of itself. But yes, I would
love to stay here and finish my career here."
Perkins has three years remaining on his current deal, which is set to expire in the summer of 2015. Although Perkins has been mentioned as a possible trade or amnesty candidate, October's trade of James Harden makes it more viable for Oklahoma City to keep the big man on its books, since the team won't be facing a big tax hit for a Harden extension.
When the Celtics sent Perkins to Oklahoma City in February of 2011, he reportedly took the news hard, having spent his entire career in Boston to that point. However, with his second full season in Oklahoma City underway, the 28-year-old has come to feel at home with the Thunder, as he tells Kennedy.
"We have a group of young guys that love hanging around each other,"
Perkins said. "We’ve built relationships off the court that carry over
on the court. It’s like a family. We all got each other’s back and we
all support each other at all times. On any night, it can be any guy’s
night to have 20 points and we’re happy for the next man because we’re
November 23 at 2:05pm CST By Luke Adams
After a Thanksgiving Thursday that didn't feature any NBA games, the season resumes in earnest tonight, with 12 games on the slate. Perhaps the most intriguing matchup of the evening involves the Lakers, still finding their rhythm under new coach Mike D'Antoni, traveling to Memphis to face the Grizzlies.
Yesterday, I suggested that the Grizzlies, Clippers, and Knicks have all shown signs of being ready to make the leap and become legit title contenders this season. The poll results are still very tight, but for now, the Clippers narrowly edge the Grizzlies as your choice for the club most ready to take that next step.
Here are a few of Friday's updates out of the Western Conference:
- The Timberwolves signed Demetris Nichols and Troy Hudson late in October and quickly cut them, according to Mark Deeks of ShamSports (Twitter links). The purpose of the moves was to ensure that the T-Wolves' D-League squad could add Nichols and Hudson as "affiliate" players. Sure enough, both guys are currently on the Sioux Falls Skyforce roster.
- Chris Douglas-Roberts was another player whose D-League affiliate rights were acquired by the Mavericks toward the end of the preseason. Douglas-Roberts, who is now a member of the Texas Legends, Dallas' affiliate, spoke to Eddie Sefko of the Dallas Morning News about the D-League experience: "Sometimes, the NBA isn’t just about basketball. It’s
about business and it’s about being in the right place at the right time and the
right system at the right time. I feel I’m an NBA player. So instead of going
overseas and chasing the money, I’m going to be here for however long I’m
- Kendrick Perkins still gets emotional when the Thunder head to Boston to play the Celtics, as Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe writes. "Going against guys that you played with for a long time, won rings, went
through wars with, still brothers over there," Perkins said. "But at the end
of the day, we're still trying to win games."
- Jake Appleman of the New York Times examines the future of the Kings in Sacramento.
November 3 at 5:40pm CST By Ryan Raroque
With news of Steve Nash's leg fracture keeping him out for another week, Dave McMenamin of ESPN Los Angeles thinks that this will be a good opportunity for Darius Morris to prove himself, noting that that his potential is what helped the Lakers decide to keep him over recently-cut guard Andrew Goudelock. McMenamin also cited Mike Brown's postgame comments last night about Morris, who also appeared to be encouraged about the second year point guard's ability to change the tempo of the game and apply good defensive pressure (Sulia link). Here are more of this evening's links out of the Western Conference:
- Dwain Price of the Star-Telegram writes that Troy Murphy's familiarity with Mavericks coach Rick Carlisle's system made the 6'11 forward an ideal fit with the team. Although Murphy is not yet in 'great' shape, Price says that he will be expected to help stretch the floor with his shooting ability.
- Darnell Mayberry of NewsOK shared a handful of notes from Thunder practice today, mentioning that Kendrick Perkins should be ready to play the Hawks on Sunday after spraining his ankle last night, discussing the growing confidence of Hasheem Thabeet amidst concerns about the team's depth at center, Serge Ibaka's early shooting struggles, and coach Scott Brooks' effort to get minutes for Jeremy Lamb, among other topics.
- Nick Gallo of NBA.com looks at the Thunder's emphasis on protecting the paint this season and how center Hasheem Thabeet can be used effectively in that role against bigger lineups.
- K.C. Johnson of the Chicago Tribune tweeted that Hornets coach Monty Williams credits Knicks center Tyson Chandler for Anthony Davis' development during the London Olympics this past summer. Williams also weighed in on the league's concussion policy, addressing the notion that Davis could miss several games because of league protocol after suffering a mild concussion yesterday: "It's just that now you treat everybody like they have on white gloves and pink draws. It's just getting old, but it's just the way the league is now...I'm not saying I don't like it; we've got to protect our players...but as a coach I’m a baby about it. I want my guys ready to play.'' (John Reid of NOLA.com reports).
September 26 at 1:27pm CST By Luke Adams
Thunder GM Sam Presti addressed the media in Oklahoma City earlier today at his preseason press conference. While the Thunder GM was typically evasive on issues like James Harden's contract negotiations, he shared a few notable nuggets. Here are some of the highlights, from The Oklahoman's coverage of the presser:
- After making the Finals this spring, the Thunder will look to continue with the mentality and approach that got them there -- thinking big and building small.
- Presti on the possibility of biting the bullet and going into the luxury tax to keep the team's core together: "There are certain realities that we face, and there are some inherent challenges that we face. I don't feel comfortable talking about limitations and things that we ultimately have to decide on, but we're making a commitment to try to put a
competitive team on the floor. But we have to do that right thing for
- The new CBA "is what it is," and the Thunder will have to work within its confines, says Presti.
- The Thunder like Daniel Orton, who signed with the team this summer. He's got a "nice edge to him," according to Presti.
- Asked about Kendrick Perkins' prediction that Harden will want to sign an extension once he gets to camp, Presti stressed that he doesn't want to place expectations on specific people and predict how they're going to react.
- The Thunder hope to have Perkins healthy for the first game of the regular season, but Orton, Hasheem Thabeet, and Cole Aldrich should receive plenty of preseason action while Perkins recovers from wrist and groin injuries.
- Thabeet's conditioning is much improved, according to Presti.
September 22 at 9:23pm CST By Ryan Raroque
scout Don Sellers attended a workout featuring Japeth Aguilar
, according to HoopsHype (Twitter
link). On Tuesday, we relayed a report
that the 25-year-old Filipino forward's agent had been contacted by two undisclosed teams. In another tweet
, HoopsHype moved along this story from ESPN Estadao
which says that center Rafael Hettsheimeir
has signed a contract with Real Madrid. Earlier this month, the Brazilian big man had reportedly fielded interest
from the Mavericks
. Here's what else we're hearing from around the league this evening...
- Mavericks veteran Dirk Nowitzki is excited about the team's offseason additions and says that anything is possible if the chemistry is right, according to Eddie Sefko of SportsDay DFW.
- Kendrick Perkins doesn't think that he nor any of his Thunder teammates need to personally intervene in order to influence James Harden's contract negotiations, believing that his decision will be affected just by returning to training camp and seeing his "family" again (John Rohde of NewsOK reports).
- HoopsWorld provides their season preview of the Lakers, who enter the 2012-13 season with a collection of superstar talent and championship aspirations. According to Eric Pincus, the Lakers' powerfully talented lineup along with improved depth gives them the opportunity to compete at the highest level. On the flip side, Pincus writes that age is definitely not on their side and wonders if Mike Brown has the personality to lead this team to a championship.
- Brian Geltzeiler of SheridanHoops.com offers his thoughts on hot topics that he's been asked about on Twitter and the radio, namely about his projections for the Bulls this season, the idea that Ray Allen's addition to the Heat makes them unbeatable, and if the new CBA is having its desired effect.
September 14 at 10:11pm CST By Alex Lee
The Blazers announced, via Twitter
, that Elliot Williams
underwent successful surgery on his left Achilles tendon today and will miss the entirety of the 2012-13 season. Williams ruptured his Achilles
on Tuesday during a voluntary workout, which is the latest misfortune for the snakebitten former Memphis Tiger. CSN Northwest has more details on the surgery here
. Here are some other links from the Northwest Division:
- Brandon Roy said on Thursday that he wants to "come in and make an impact right away" for the Timberwolves, writes Ray Richardson of the Pioneer Press. Roy has expressed confidence all offseason: "I want to be ready to deliver. A lot of people think I'm going to be limited. I tell them, 'Go ahead and think that way.' I'm not cautious about anything. I'm confident everything will go well." I asked readers a month ago how Roy would fare this year, and about half of you thought he'd average around 10 points per game.
- The staff at HoopsWorld published their season preview for the Timberwolves, complete with strengths, weaknesses and predictions. The consensus is that Minnesota will finish right smack in the middle of the Northwest, which would be an improvement from last year's last place finish.
- Sean Deveney of The Sporting News looks at five scenarios in play for James Harden and the Thunder. He predicts that the team will wait until next summer to re-sign him as a restricted free agent, getting rid of Kendrick Perkins and others to clear the necessary cap space to do so.
- Ben Golliver of CBS Sports gives his offseason report card for the Jazz. He gives Utah a B, concluding that it was a typically quiet but effectively offseason for the team. Golliver says that hiring Dennis Lindsey as their GM was a coup, especially considering the similarity in markets and the amount of current Jazz players that may hit free agency soon.
September 13 at 1:51pm CST By Luke Adams
THURSDAY, 1:51pm: Contrary to Perkins' "report," the Thunder and Harden aren't close to an extension agreement, according to ESPN.com's Chris Broussard (via Twitter). The two sides are talking and Harden wants to stay in Oklahoma City, but he's also seeking a max contract, says Broussard.
WEDNESDAY, 5:10pm: The James Harden rumors have been heating up this week, from Thunder GM Sam Presti hinting that an extension will be difficult to a Marc Stein report suggesting the Mavericks and Rockets are among the teams hoping to get a chance to land Harden. The latest to weigh in on the All-Star guard's contract situation? Teammate Kendrick Perkins, as Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman tweets.
"We're getting close with James," Perkins said (Twitter link). "And we're getting close to keeping our unit together."
Perkins doesn't necessarily have any inside info on extension negotiations, and could just be expressing optimism about the Thunder's chances of retaining Harden. But it still sounds like welcome news for OKC fans that don't want to see the team's core broken up at all in the next year. As I outlined when I passed along Presti's comments yesterday, the Thunder's cap situation will make it tricky to give Harden a fair deal without heading well into luxury-tax territory.
I looked at Harden as an extension candidate a few weeks back, though my analysis came before Oklahoma City agreed to a long-term deal with Serge Ibaka.