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Kendrick Perkins says Thunder will keep James Harden

Sep 12, 2012, 5:35 PM EDT

Kendrick Perkins, James Harden AP

Kendrick Perkins is not the Thunder general manager, talking in qualifiers about financial realities.

Kendrick Perkins is a guy who believes in team whole heartedly. He did in Boston and it was hard on him when he was traded. But he’s found it again in Oklahoma City.

And he can’t see anyone letting that go over a few dollars. Or a few million. Remember that as you read this quote from him, via the twitter of the Thunder beat god Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman:

“We’re getting close with James, and we’re getting close to keeping our unit together… Once James gets here, it’s nothing to be said. He’ll see his family and that’s all he needs… So once he sees everybody’s faces that’s enough said.”

Harden has made it clear his preference is to stay with the Thunder. But as always, it’s about money. OKC management and owners would like a discount (to save them tax dollars) but Harden is a max player looking for a max deal — and if the Thunder won’t pay him that someone else will.

As I have said before, the Thunder know the price. They have known it before they signed Serge Ibaka to his extension at the start of this off-season. The only questions remaining is will they pay it, and if so when? And eventually I think they will.

By the way, Perkins also said that Eric Maynor looked good. Maynor is a good backup point guard who went down with an ACL tear last season, which is what prompted the Thunder to bring in Derek Fisher. Having Maynor back would be huge because he is such an upgrade in that role behind Russell Westbrook.

  1. andycapozello - Sep 12, 2012 at 6:58 PM

    yea what does Kendrick know..

  2. papichulo55 - Sep 12, 2012 at 7:47 PM

    Dont believe the Hype! At some point, before those taxes kick in, Harden will be traded. All of this talk to the contrary is to keep his trade value as high as possible. Bet on it.

  3. passerby23 - Sep 12, 2012 at 11:34 PM

    My bet is the Thunder play the season out. If they lose to the Lakers, they amnesty Perkins to free up cap space to re-sign Harden. If they win, I think Harden’s value goes up and they can’t afford to re-sign him so they work out a sign and trade.

  4. 00maltliquor - Sep 13, 2012 at 1:04 AM

    …at the expense of Kendrick Perkins via amnesty!

    Irony at it’s best!

    • zerole00 - Sep 13, 2012 at 9:27 AM

      Haha that’s exactly what I was thinking. Oh the irony would be magnificent.

  5. rocirius - Sep 16, 2012 at 3:47 AM

    Any team that gives Harden the max is overpaying. I like his game, but I would rather have a guy like Mayo at half the salary. Harden’s next contract will be an albatross like Joe Johnson or Andre Iguodala currently has. Great complementary players, but not centerpieces to build contenders around.

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