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Thunder GM says team won’t amnesty Kendrick Perkins

May 19, 2013, 9:30 AM EDT

Kendrick Perkins Getty Images

One of the more popular cries from the Thunder fan base after the dismal all-around postseason performance of Kendrick Perkins was that the team should rid themselves of his contract (two more seasons at nearly $19 million total) by using the amnesty provision on him this summer.

In the new collective bargaining agreement, teams have the one-time ability to have a contract that was signed before July 1 of 2011 come off the books by waiving a player, thus creating salary cap space to replace him with a more talented one if that’s what the team chooses to do.

But that money is still owed to the player that’s no longer there, making it a much less desirable proposition for small market teams like Oklahoma City who are trying to keep total payroll costs down.

That’s just one of the reasons why Thunder GM Sam Presti said at his end of season media availability that using the amnesty provision on Perkins, or anyone else on the team’s roster, isn’t something he’s ever considered.

From Darnell Mayberry of The Oklahoman:

“We just haven’t considered using the provision,” Presti said. “I wouldn’t necessarily directly attribute that to any player on our team. Every team looks at the amnesty provision different based on their different circumstances. But it’s not something that we’ve really explored.”

When pressed, Presti went on to praise Perkins.

“We think Perk has a lot of value to our team,” Presti said. “He’s a member of a team that won 60 games and helped us to our third division title in three years. I don’t know that we can discount that. I’m sure he’d like to have had a better postseason. But I’m sure that’s pretty universal for the whole group. And we accept that.”

As bad as Perkins was in the postseason — and he was historically bad, at least by one statistical measure — everything about the Thunder’s playoff run that was a negative is essentially going to be thrown out as a basis for future decision-making purposes.

The injury suffered by Russell Westbrook put the Thunder into a state of complete disarray, and the team was scrambling to adjust on the fly on both ends of the floor in his absence. Because of this very relevant piece of information, Presti made it clear that the play of Perkins, or anyone else this postseason will not be judged too harshly by the organization — one that, for a variety of reasons, won’t even consider using the amnesty provision on one of its players at this time.

  1. saint1997 - May 19, 2013 at 9:38 AM

    If they’re not going to get rid of Perk then they have to pay for a scorer to take the load of Durant and Westbrook. I’m not throwing out names as definites but either a borderline star or a couple of JJ Redick type blokes are clearly needed.

    • spthegr8 - May 19, 2013 at 1:00 PM

      I starting too wonder if Perk has some naughty picture’s of Presti wife or some kind of black mail. I mean stat’s don’t mean everything but the 44 million you gave him isn’t justified by his VERY pedestrian 4.2 ppg and 6.0 Rebs. He couldn’t score if you left him in the gym all by himself. Why is Presti being so loyal too a guy he didn’t even draft???? It doesn’t make sense too me & if they wait too long. That championship window might close!! Just Saying!!

  2. bigmeechy74 - May 19, 2013 at 9:49 AM

    Hahaha. “Genius Sam Presti.” Yeah right. I used to believe the hype. I thought these guys were going to be a dynasty. They had a nucleus of a bunch of 22 year olds that made it to the finals. Their future was so bright. But then they traded Harden…. they got rid of a 22 year old superstar in the making to acquire a bunch of crap. Amazing. Worst trade ever. Then they decided to keep scott brooks. Even during the year that they made the finals he made some of the most head scratching moves I’ve ever seen. When the heat went small, he left Perkins in the game the whole time even though it made absolutely no sense. He had collison rotting on the bench even though he was much better for the situation and he is just much better PERIOD. And he had derek fisher in there bricking shot after shot. He actually scored zero points in one of those finals games after playing a ton of minutes. All scott brooks says is “we gotta guard better. tough defense guys.” He is lousy. Now they are going to keep Perkins. The potential dynasty is over before it started. Actually The day they traded harden it was over but this is just another puzzling move to add to the colossal let down of something that was once so promising.

    • patfic15 - May 19, 2013 at 12:00 PM

      You speak for many Thunder fans. Presti got lucky then tried to act good. Brooks couldn’t look anymore out coached these last 2 post seasons.

    • abasketballthing - May 19, 2013 at 1:54 PM

      In Presti’s defense, he doesn’t sign the checks. They traded Harden because Clay Bennett wanted to make a few bucks instead of winning multiple championships.

      • fanofevilempire - May 19, 2013 at 2:39 PM

        why don’t they win one first then worry about multiples.

      • bigmeechy74 - May 19, 2013 at 5:39 PM

        Not true. He played hardball with Harden. He said “accept our deal by midnight or we are shipping you to Houston.” so harden’s agent said ” they can offer you 5 yr 75 million. you gotta take it.” So instead of trying to figure something out for the entire year they had him under contract they decided to pull the trigger on a garbage trade. All the while he was willing to throw money at Kendrick Perkins. Awful.

      • abasketballthing - May 20, 2013 at 12:52 AM

        That was part of it. They grossly overvalued Perkins. But even with that mistake, they could have signed Harden and risked losing a few bucks to win championships. Bennett could have sold the team and gotten it all back whenever he wanted, but he wanted to make as much money as possible, so he didn´t let Presti offer the max.

  3. Kevin S. - May 19, 2013 at 9:55 AM

    Thunder effed up by not using Harden to dump Perkins. Big time.

  4. jcmeyer10 - May 19, 2013 at 10:04 AM

    Say what you want about Ainge but he was smart enough to pull that trigger.

    • fanofevilempire - May 19, 2013 at 2:41 PM

      green hasn’t been that great, has he.
      so far that trade was a bust!

      • jcmeyer10 - May 19, 2013 at 2:53 PM

        Better than getting nothing for a limited Perkins. When Green is on, he looks like he could be a star. Plus, it weakened OKC. I think the Thunder would have very much appreciated Jeff Green when Westbrook went out.

        So, getting something for nothing makes trade a win for the Celtics. If you take offense to the contract Ainge handed out to Green, that is a whole different argument.

  5. steelers4385 - May 19, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    He sucks. And only looks mean.

  6. andrewproughcfe - May 19, 2013 at 10:36 AM

    >”The injury suffered by Russell Westbrook put the Thunder into a state of complete disarray, and the team was scrambling to adjust on the fly on both ends of the floor in his absence.”

    There’s your problem – poor coaching. Scott Brooks had nearly three weeks after the Westbrook injury to figure out how to get his other shooters involved, how to set up his defense, and how to limit the burden he was placing on Durant. Instead, he kept asking Durant to do more and more and more as an individual. Ultimately, that wore KD down. Brooks made it easier for the Grizzlies to defend the ball, since it was in KD’s hands such a high percentage of the time.

  7. eatitfanboy - May 19, 2013 at 11:10 AM

    I have read that post three times and I still don’t see where it says they won’t amnesty Perkins. It says nothing more than they hadn’t considered. It never says they won’t

  8. ProBasketballPundit - May 19, 2013 at 11:11 AM

    Perkins is only in the league to guard Dwight Howard, Tim Duncan, and Marc Gasol. Now it appears he can’t even do that. He turns the ball over 20% of the time he touches it. Sorry, Perkins, but you shouldn’t be in the league. At the very best you’re a backup center playing for league minimum.

    • casualcommenter - May 19, 2013 at 11:22 AM

      Well put. Completely agreed.

      I’m sorry, but the “Russell Westbrook was injured, so this post-season doesn’t count” argument put forth by this blog falls completely flat.
      Westbrook’s injury doesn’t explain why Perkins couldn’t defend either Gasol/Z-Bo without fouling.
      Westbrook’s injury doesn’t explain why Perkins couldn’t successfully battle either Gasol/Z-Bo for rebounds.
      Westbrook’s injury doesn’t explain why Perkins still has absolutely no offensive game to speak of despite being 30 years old and having had ample time to develop one.

      Perkins is a bad player, and his regular season numbers this year REGRESSED FROM HIS CAREER AVERAGES (look them up). If you think he has trouble keeping up with opposing bigs and jumping for rebounds now, just wait as he ages and loses some athleticism. The man has almost no skills to speak of, so the further loss of mobility will be devastating to his effectiveness.

      • patfic15 - May 19, 2013 at 3:10 PM

        “No skills to speak of”…you NAILED it. I can’t remember a player who angered me the way Perkins does due to his debilitating effect on the offense. Presti is full of sh*t if he doesn’t see that.

  9. patfic15 - May 19, 2013 at 12:01 PM

    Thanks Presti. No ring for you!

  10. patfic15 - May 19, 2013 at 12:03 PM

    And how could you be anymore “unathletic”??? Big just to be big. Worthless dude.

  11. sportsnut101 - May 19, 2013 at 12:40 PM

    hes always been awful thunder got hosed haha
    sam presti gets credit for durant n westbrook n harden n baka

    well the reason he got them is cuz the team sucked n had lottery after lottery pick

    they could of kept harden amnesty perk n picked up sumone in the draft over those yrs

    what they gonna do now what happens if kevin martin doesnt sign n they need a big that can play
    perk is a bench player

  12. letangusespertplus - May 19, 2013 at 1:09 PM

    this is all on the owner not paying the luxury tax. you can say what you want about presti, but it’s not as easy as pay him and amnesty him. ya’ll need to get off that video game GM mode. its a business. getting kevin martin for a cheaper salary, getting lamb to develop and drafting a big on the cheap could do more for this organization than harden would be able to. there are only so many shots a team can take. between russ kd and harden there wouldnt be enough. they need a post player and harden obviously wasn’t that. they got good value in the trade and in the short term it looks like houston fleeced them but that won’t be known until lamb works out and this first round pick they got. oh yeah harden sucks at defense too. russ doesn’t and kd is obviously not going anywhere.

    • bigmeechy74 - May 19, 2013 at 5:48 PM

      “getting lamb to develop and drafting a big on the cheap could do more for this organization than harden would be able to.” That’s the dumbest thing I have ever read in my life and you got 4 thumbs up for that!!! Getting lamb to “develop” and getting a pick from an awful draft can do more than a young SUPERSTAR??? HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

  13. dbones750 - May 19, 2013 at 2:30 PM

    Perkins injury cost the big 3 celtics a 2nd ring. You can’t teach size like perk.

  14. caeser12 - May 19, 2013 at 3:31 PM

    Well then prepare to stay stuck right where you are until you rid yourself of him.

  15. waynegretsky77 - May 19, 2013 at 6:01 PM

    why should they amnesty perkins. ibaka is a soft defender. perk plays great d agaginst howard, good screens. he has a ring so he must of did something right to earn one.

    • jaerba - May 19, 2013 at 6:12 PM

      Half of this post is terrible, but it makes an important point. Perkins is bad against a lot of types of teams, but he’s probably a very valuable asset against Howard. He’s strong enough to contend with Howard and Howard doesn’t have enough of an offensive game to make him look terrible like ZBo and Gasol.

      It’s just a shame his contract is so high.

  16. waynegretsky77 - May 19, 2013 at 6:02 PM

    also look how much boston fell off after getting ridf of a guy who helped them win a ring. perkins is underrated.

    • bougin89 - May 20, 2013 at 12:36 PM

      Have you watched Perkins play in the last two years? He’s awful. He was a solid defender but he’s even slipping on that end of the court. For a big he is basically an average rebounder, average/above average defender and just brutal on offense.

  17. thundersandpackers - May 20, 2013 at 12:19 PM

    As long as Perkins is on the team Thunders will never win a ring. He is too slow and butterfingers all the time. I starting to lose interest in this team for keeping Perkins.

  18. thundersandpackers - May 20, 2013 at 12:22 PM

    Develop Lamb and Perry Jones. Rework Thabeet and get rid of Perkins. Sign a decent big man and Thunders should be fine. Lamb and Jones will provide the bench scoring. Why keep them if they are not being used.

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