Perkins also will accelerate the development of Harden and Ibaka, whose roles now will increase, particularly offensively. Win or lose this spring, Harden and Ibaka are going to come out of these playoffs with more hair on their chest and scars on their brow.
Green's versatility and professionalism, uncommon for a 24-year-old, will be missed. But you've got to give up good to get good.
Big guys who can play are hard to find. Big guys who fit your concept, even harder. Perkins fits what Presti likes to call the Thunder's DNA. Hard-working, defensive-minded, tough.
With the 6-foot-10 Perkins, the Thunder gets tougher and meaner and nastier. He's a 26-year-old, 280-pound space eater who can defend the post as well as most anyone in the NBA. Perkins' defense helped the Celtics beat the Lakers for the 2008 NBA title, and Boston would have done the same last June had Perkins' knee not blown in Game 6 of the Finals.
Truth is, Presti long has craved Perkins. When Presti drafted Cole Aldrich out of Kansas last June, a Thunder official told me the thinking.
What the Thunder could use is a Kendrick Perkins. But they cost too much money. Thus the most prudent move is develop your own. Thus, Aldrich.
But now, the Thunder has the original for the 2011 playoffs, if not beyond. Stay off his lawn.
Berry Tramel: Berry can be reached at (405) 760-8080 or at firstname.lastname@example.org. He can be heard Monday through Friday from 4:40-5:20 p.m. on The Sports Animal radio network, including AM-640 and FM-98.1. You can also view his personality page at newsok.com/berrytramel.