There was a little bit of a buzz when we found out Perk turned down a contract offer from the Celtics. It was initially reported to be an offer of four years in the neighborhood of somewhere under $30 million.
Last night, Sherrod Blakely reported during the game that the C's offer was down in the low $20 million range… clearly not enough. My initial thought was "wow, they really low-balled him." Until Chris Mannix explained it in a tweet
I asked Larry Coon, who knows the NBA's Collective Bargaining Agreement better than any of us know anything, to clarify things. And here's the story:
Because the Celtics can only, at this point, offer a contract extension, they are bound by certain rules. The four-year, $23.4 million offer is the absolute most they can offer at this point because it is classified as an extension of the current contract.
But when Perk files for free agency, his contract will have expired. And since the Celtics will no longer be bound by a capped amount they can offer him, they can go above this current offer… and above the cap… because they hold his Bird rights.
Of course, this is all based on one very important thing: What provisions survive the new CBA. Bird Rights and maximum deals and many other things can change what and when Perk (and others) can get offered. But none of it changes the fact that the C's can't offer Perk any more than they did.
So… it seems the Celtics were showing Perk and his camp that they'd like him to stay in Boston and made a good-faith, maximum-allowed offer. Perkins, of course, turned down the offer because it's much less than he'll ultimately get. Chances are we won't hear much more about this until Perkins files for free agency. But I don't think we should view that filing as a sign he wants out. It's just something he has to do to actually have a negotiation with the Celtics.