Berry Tramel

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Oklahoma City Thunder: How about trading Kendrick Perkins for Kevin Garnett?

by Berry Tramel Modified: June 25, 2013 at 10:05 pm •  Published: June 25, 2013


My readers always are thinking. For example, Caleb Lei.

Lei came up with a trade idea, I told him it didn’t work financially, so he went back to the drawing board, and together we found a trade that works. Definitely financially, perhaps for both teams’ future as well.

The Celtics trade Kevin Garnett to the Thunder for Kendrick Perkins, Perry Jones, Daniel Orton, the 12th overall pick in the draft this week and the Eric Maynor trade exception.

According to the NBA Trade Machine, the trade benefits the Thunder by six games. Basically, swapping Garnett for Perk would cost the Celtics six wins. That’s a lot of wins for one non-superstar, which Garnett no longer is. But it might be close.

Garnett might not be the premier interior defender he once was, but he’s still solid. Might not be as good of a post defender as is Perkins, but Garnett’s offense more than makes up for that.

So why would Boston do such a deal? With Doc Rivers flying the coop to the Clippers, the Celtics are in total rebuilding mode. Garnett could be dealt or might even retire. Paul Pierce could be bought out of his contract for $5 million and set free.

The Celtics need chips to build for the future, which the first-round pick and the trade exception most definitely are. What’s the difference to Boston between winning 37 and 31 games? You’re better off winning 31; get better lottery balls.

Meanwhile, the Thunder would upgrade the center position. Garnett would cost the Thunder some money; he’s due to make $11.5 million in 2013-14, which is about the same as Perkins, Jones and Orton combined. But his salary goes up to $12 million in 2014-15.

That might be acceptable, though, since the Thunder is resigned to going into the luxury tax for the 2014-15 season.

The stigma on Perkins’ lack of offense doesn’t extend to the Celtics. He’s still beloved in Boston, where he helped the Celts win the 2008 NBA title and dang near the 2010 NBA title.

I have no idea if Boston would bite. I assume the Thunder would take on KG’s $12 million salary for 2014-15, which would give OKC four salaries at $12 million or higher, but I don’t know for sure.

Maybe Boston could find something better, although in the new financial order, lots of teams are going to hang onto chips that can provide you young talent. Maybe Boston would rather have DeAndre Jordan straight up – a rumored trade with the Clippers – although that doesn’t exactly further the Celtic rebuilding job.

But Garnett for Perk and Friends and valuable chips makes sense on a lot of fronts.

by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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