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.”
PRESTI EXPECTS TO HAVE CONTRACT TALKS WITH JACKSON
The future of Reggie Jackson might be decided this offseason. Or maybe not.
The Thunder’s gifted reserve point guard will be eligible for a contract extension for the first time on July 1. And Presti said the goal is to get a deal done. But it’s not close to a certainty.
“Generally, these things don’t happen in July,” Presti said. “The trend now is they don’t even happen by the Oct. 31 deadline. But we are going to make a concerted effort to try to work something out with him that works for everybody. If that doesn’t happen, then we’ll pick the conversations up the following summer and see where that leads us.”
When asked if a trade was possible if nothing could be worked out with Jackson, Presti said, “That’s not something we’re considering.”
With two first round picks — the 21st and 29th overall — the Thunder has plenty of options and assets heading into the June 26 draft.
Presti said he’s currently sifting through the potential avenues OKC can go with those picks.
“I wouldn’t rule out moving those selections depending on what’s sitting there,” Presti said. “I think there’s a big difference between picking a player and selecting a player. When you’re picking, you’re picking from not necessarily things that you want. Selection, to me, is when you’re selecting from a pool that you value. We want to be in position to select. If we’re in a position simply to pick, then we’ll probably move the pick on.”