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Dollars and cents: How the Thunder acquired Kendrick Perkins

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: February 24, 2011 at 10:08 pm •  Published: February 24, 2011

/articleid/3543740/1/pictures/1375375">Photo - Kevin Durant (35) of Oklahoma City tries to drive past Kendrick Perkins (43) of Boston in the second half of the NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. Boston won, 105-87. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Kevin Durant (35) of Oklahoma City tries to drive past Kendrick Perkins (43) of Boston in the second half of the NBA basketball game between the Boston Celtics and the Oklahoma City Thunder at the Ford Center in Oklahoma City, Friday, Dec. 4, 2009. Boston won, 105-87. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Add it all up, and Perkins became Boston's sacrificial lamb, shipped to Oklahoma City to become the Thunder's long-awaited legitimate center.

But the blockbuster began to crystallize for the Thunder back in the fall.

When Oklahoma City couldn't reach an agreement with Green on an extension to his rookie deal before the Nov. 1 deadline, Green became trade bait. And while the Thunder's front office loved Green's skill set and professionalism, the continued emergence of Serge Ibaka made Green an increasingly intriguing pawn in the search for a bona fide big man.

What's more, the Thunder faced the risk of losing Green altogether in free agency next summer. Green will be a restricted free agent, which would have given the Thunder the right to match any offer. But had another team laid out a high-dollar deal, it would have been the Thunder that was in the bad spot.

Either OKC would have had to decline to match and lose Green or match and flirt with the even more detrimental reality of overpaying for his services. The latter option could have restricted the franchise's ability to lock up Ibaka, Russell Westbrook and James Harden.

It's still unknown how far apart the Thunder and Green's camp were in negotiations. But Thursday's trade is a good indication that management had real questions about whether the team could keep him.

When the opportunity to add a player of Perkins' caliber came along, the deal became a no-brainer.

by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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