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Thunder signs Kendrick Perkins to extension

The Oklahoma City Thunder has agreed to terms on a contract extension for Kendrick Perkins, the 6-foot-10 center acquired via trade with Boston last Thursday, The Oklahoman has learned.

by Darnell Mayberry Modified: March 1, 2011 at 12:05 pm •  Published: March 1, 2011

When Kendrick Perkins arrived bright and early to the Oklahoma City Thunder’s training facility for his first day of practice with his new team last Saturday, he was shocked to see Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook had beaten him there.

The Thunder’s All-Star duo was already on the court putting in work.

Perkins knew right then this is where he wanted to be.

And on Monday night, four days after he was acquired from Boston, Perkins committed to cementing himself as the franchise’s cornerstone center, agreeing to a four-year extension that will keep him with the Thunder through the 2014-15 season. The exact terms of the deal are unclear. But for the second time this season, the Thunder worked creatively within the salary cap rules to ink Perkins to a deal that exceeds $30 million, at least $8 million more in total salary than a offer from the Celtics that Perkins recently turned down. Yahoo! Sports, citing unnamed sources, reports the deal is for $34.8 million including bonuses.

When the Thunder acquired Perkins and Nate Robinson from Boston in exchange for Jeff Green, Nenad Krstic and a future first-round pick, the team assumed the risk of not re-signing Perkins. Getting a deal done now, however, eliminates the chance of Perkins leaving the Thunder as an unrestricted free agent this summer.

Following that first practice over the weekend, Perkins told media members at his introductory press conference that his desire was to be in Oklahoma City for “the long haul.”

“I hope I can be here,” Perkins said. “I (want to) be here. I couldn’t find a better situation for myself. I really want to be here. It’s just a great organization.”

The Thunder was able to grant Perkins’ wish through strategically structuring a more lucrative deal than Boston could have presented under league rules.

Following a second deadline deal that sent Morris Peterson and D.J. White to Charlotte in exchange for center Nazr Mohammed, Oklahoma City moved roughly $2 million below the $58 million salary cap. That then allowed the Thunder to renegotiate Perkins’ current deal, essentially using that additional space to give Perkins a $2 million raise this season.

Carlson: Deal confirms Sam Presti's genius Kendrick Perkins' career stats

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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