Old friend Kendrick Perkins made headlines last week for his underwhelming performance in the playoffs. Perk’s playoff impotence revived speculation that OKC would consider the amnesty provision on their center. Thunder GM Sam Presti says such speculation is inaccurate:
“We just haven’t considered using the provision,” Presti said. “I wouldn’t necessarily directly attribute that to any player on our team. Every team looks at the amnesty provision different based on their different circumstances. But it’s not something that we’ve really explored.”
When pressed, Presti went on to praise Perkins.
“We think Perk has a lot of value to our team,” Presti said. “He’s a member of a team that won 60 games and helped us to our third division title in three years. I don’t know that we can discount that. I’m sure he’d like to have had a better postseason. But I’m sure that’s pretty universal for the whole group. And we accept that.”
The Oklahoman’s Darnell Mayberry lays out numerous reasons why it doesn’t make sense for OKC to amnesty Perk. For starters, the Thunder are not a big market team flush with so much cash they can pay a player $18 million to leave town. Plus, Perk’s toughness and defensive ability are still valued in OKC.
But let’s be honest… an NBA GM worth his salt will never talk publicly about amnestying a player unless it’s the last resort. If Presti decides Perkins has to go, he’ll try desperately to trade him first.
Brandon Bass and Courtney Lee for Kendrick Perkins works in the Real GM trade machine. But that’s too steep for my tastes.
Maybe Ainge can get Presti to bite on a Lee, Fab Melo and Jordan Crawford for Perk deal.