Another Thunder offseason is cranking up, which means a familiar tune is coming from some of the OKC masses: Amnesty Kendrick Perkins.
But before the last season of his contract — the last chance OKC can wipe (but still pay) his $9.1 million salary from the books — Thunder GM Sam Presti told reporters at his exit interview on Thursday that’s it’s not likely to happen.
“I knew I’d get that question,” Presti said. “I wish I had something clever to say there, but I don’t. We’ll look at everything, as we always do. But as we’ve said before, it’s not something that’s been considered to this point.”
This season, Perkins averaged his fewest points (3.4) and rebounds (4.9) since the 2004-05 campaign, but it’s his sturdy post defense and veteran presence that, Presti said, continue to give him value to the roster.
“Quite honestly, we’d be having this press conference a lot sooner if he was not part of the organization when we took the floor against Memphis,” Presti said, referring to Perkins defense on Zach Randolph in the first round. “This conversation probably would be happening in May, and not June.”
In particular, Presti praised Perkins’ work with Steven Adams — the Thunder’s young center who is likely to take Perkins’ starting job at some point — as another valuable commodity.
“He’s been wonderful for Steven Adams,” Presti said. “I think he’s had a lot to do with Steven’s growth, especially in the postseason, specifically how he studies and plays position defense.”
PRESTI DISAGREES WITH SILVER’S POINT
Recently, newly appointed NBA commissioner Adam Silver pointed to the Thunder, Pacers and Spurs as examples of the positives done by the league’s new collective bargaining agreement, allowing small market teams to stay competitive.
But, during his interview on Thursday, Presti respectfully disagreed with the overall point.
“I think Adam’s great, and I think he does an excellent job,” Presti said. “The only thing I would say relative to that, the three teams he’s referring to were more or less constructed prior to the CBA. I think the goal for each one of those teams is to continue their success with the CBA notwithstanding. And that’s the challenge. That’s the challenge for all those teams. It can be done. But I don’t necessarily think it’s a result of the CBA. I think we’re challenged to extend our success as a result of it.”