If Harden does not sign by Oct. 31, he will become a restricted free agent on July 1 of next year and is free to negotiate with any team. OKC must match any team's offer to retain Harden.
Thunder power forward Serge Ibaka agreed to a four-year, $49 million extension on Aug. 18, which will limit what the Thunder can pay Harden without the team paying NBA luxury tax.
Asked if he would reach out the Harden and try to convince him to stay, Perkins said things might simply fall into place once Harden rejoins the Thunder for training camp.
“The thing is, once James gets here, there's nothing to be said,” Perkins said. “He'll see his family and that's all he'll need. He just needs to be here, so once he sees everybody's faces, that's enough said.”
WHAT TO EXPECT
With the departures of unrestricted free agents Derek Fisher (five world championship rings) and Nazr Mohammed (one), Perkins is now the only player on the OKC roster to win a title, doing so in 2008 with the Celtics.
Teammates will continue to look toward him for guidance, but Perkins said Thunder players learned plenty on their own by advancing to last year's NBA Finals.
“Now we know what to expect, so there's less talking and more playing,” Perkins said, scowling. “We know what it takes, we know that it takes the little things and we'll be ready. We're also pumped up about Eric (Maynor) coming back.”
Maynor tore his right ACL on Jan. 7 at Houston and missed the remainder of the season.
“I don't know if you've all seen him, but he's more athletic," Perkins said of the Thunder's reliable backup point guard. “I've seen him dunk the other day for the first time since I've been here, and it's looking good. I don't like to boast and brag about what we've got going on, but you'll see.”
THUNDER SIGNS TWO
The Thunder signed guards DeAndre Liggins and Andy Rautins to contracts.
The 6-foot-6, 209-pound Liggins played 17 games last season with the Orlando Magic and averaged of 1.9 points and 0.9 rebounds in 6.8 minutes. The Magic selected Liggins, a Kentucky product, in the second round (No. 53 overall) of the 2011 NBA Draft.
The 6-4, 190-pound Rautins, who played collegiately at Syracuse, was a second-round pick of the New York Knicks in 2010 (No. 38 overall) and spent last season playing in Spain for Lucentum Alicante, where he appeared in 17 games and averaged 7.3 points, 1.8 rebounds and 1.2 assists in 15.4 minutes.