Center Kendrick Perkins is expected to practice Thursday with the Thunder for the first time since being acquired in a trade with Boston two weeks ago. He previously had gone through individual workouts while rehabbing a sprained left knee.
Even when Perkins does join the active roster, there is no guarantee he will start immediately.
“It depends on the circumstances, how he feels,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Wednesday.
Perkins had offseason surgery on the opposite knee, played in 12 games and started seven with the Celtics this season before being traded to the Thunder.
“It's definitely going to take him some time, and we understand that, but we like what he brings,” Brooks said. “We still know we have to get better, even when he's in our lineup.”
Before Wednesday's game against the Philadelphia 76ers, Brooks shared a story from his rookie season in 1988-89 when he was with the Sixers.
One of Brooks' duties on the road was to carry the uniform and warm-ups of All-Star point guard Maurice Cheeks, who is now a Thunder assistant and a finalist for the National Basketball Hall of Fame.
Unbeknownst to Cheeks at the time, Brooks kept the outfit after what would be Cheeks' last road game with the Sixers. He was traded to San Antonio that offseason.
“Ten years later, I had him sign it,” Brooks said. “Back then, they made you pay for your uniforms. If you wanted your uniform, you had to pay for it. He didn't even know I had it. He got deducted 175 bucks, whatever it was, out of his check.”
Brooks said he still has the uniform. “I haven't framed it yet,” Brooks said, “but it's somewhere around the house.”
GOOD TO BE MO
Philly media remarked how good Cheeks looks at age 54.
“He's in great shape,” Brooks said. “I don't understand why he's in such good shape because he eats every (piece of) candy, every cookie, potato chips, and he's still 185 pounds, his playing weight. It's good to be Maurice.”
The Sixers were Brooks' favorite team growing up, and he wanted to be the next Julius Erving.
Asked how long that dream lasted, Brooks said, “Until I was 4-foot-11 as a freshman in high school. Everybody wanted to be Dr. J. He was everybody's hero, a class act. That was my favorite team. Not a lot of Californians were cheering for the 76ers back then.”
The Thunder is now 4-1 in March, 12-5 on Wednesdays and 17-6 against Eastern Conference teams. … In addition to Brooks and Cheeks being former Sixers players, so are Nazr Mohammed and Royal Ivey. … The Sixers lead the league in bench scoring and got 34 from the reserves on Wednesday — 22 alone from guard Lou Williams. … Kevin Durant's 16 rebounds were two shy of a career high set earlier this year at Minnesota.