The Clippers, by comparison, will shell out $42 million over the next four seasons just to keep its foul-plagued center DeAndre Jordan. Golden State gave Kwame Brown, notorious for being a bust as a former No. 1 overall pick, $7 million. Houston handed the same amount to Samuel Dalembert.
Perkins is not as talented as some of those players. He doesn't run as fast or jump as high as others. And teams throughout NBA history have ponied up more for offense than defense, with halfway functional big men perhaps being the biggest beneficiaries of that philosophy.
But the question you must ask is what will the contracts for Chandler and Nene and Gasol and others look like in just two seasons? That's when the NBA's more punitive luxury tax kicks in and the dollar-for-dollar tax skyrockets more and more as payrolls mount.
That's the nightmare the Thunder avoided with the shrewd move it made last spring.