BOSTON (CBS) – Many still feel that the Celtics‘ 2011 trade of Kendrick Perkins at the NBA Trade Deadline was a big mistake.
This off-season, the Celtics may have a chance to get their former center back.
There is a rumor out there that Perkins could be amnestied by the Oklahoma City Thunder following this season, making him a free agent. Perkins would still make the nearly $18-million owed to him over the next two years by the Thunder, and this could open up a return to the Celtics.
The Boston Globe’s Gary Washburn joined 98.5 The Sports Hub’s Toucher & Rich on Monday, and said a Perkins reunion is a strong possibility if he is amnestied.
“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.”
Perkins has never put up big numbers in his career, but he helped anchor a dominating defense in Boston. The Thunder play a different style, and Perkins hasn’t been the greatest fit, but would he be better if he returned to Boston?
“I think he would be more comfortable,” said Washburn. “His numbers would go up. I think he would obviously feel more comfortable, more welcome in Boston.”
Most importantly, what Perkins would fill in Boston is that intimidating defender role they have lacked since Ainge sent Perk to the Thunder.
“He would have to be that defensive anchor and intimidating guy. That role is filled right now by Kevin Garnett, and you don’t really want him to be your most intimidating player,” said Washburn. “You want an enforcer, not KG to be that guy.”