One of my favorite Celtics over the past 7 years has been Kendrick Perkins. His teammates have the greatest respect for him and he's referred to as our "defensive anchor." To fans, some love him, but unfortunately too many don't fully appreciate what he brings to the table every night. Too often this past year I had to defend his game to fans fixated on pretty looking offense. They didn't care about his shooting % or his defense, they were simply bothered by his "ugly" game. Honestly I don't care if his game is uglier than Sarah Jessica Parker. So what? He's efficient and he does the dirty work. He looked like a he was going to be all-star this past year until leg problems limited his mobility around the New Year. As the warrior he is he never complained about it.
I remember late in the season I wrote a piece that maybe Perk needed some rest too (KG and Pierce were getting time off.) Lo and behold two days later Perk was put on the shelf for a few days to rest the leg. In the playoffs fans hopefully saw how important Perk was as the Celtics went 15-6 with him in the line-up, but lost all three games which he missed time due either to the bogus ejection against Orlando or his devastating triple knee tear versus the Lakers. This after the previous year's playoffs when even without KG, the Celtics should have advanced to the ECF after being led by Rondo and Perkins who completely stepped up his game in KG's absence. Perkins is probably the most underrated player in the NBA. With that said, we might have seen the last of him in Boston.
I've lamented a few times how Danny wasn't able to parlay TA or Rasheed into trade exceptions. I saw all the other GM's acquiring trade exceptions easier than finding a Metro paper on the T. Unfortunately Danny couldn't pick one up for one reason or another. That essentially now leaves us with two tradeable assets come the trading deadline: Glen Davis and Perkins. Big Baby is another vastly underrated player. For some reason too many fans prefer a big man who blocks a shot viscously out of bounds to a guy who will take a charge. This makes no sense to me as the charge actually causes a change in possession and can put another team or player in foul trouble. Sorry for the tangent, but back to tradeable assets, Baby will have his role entrenched by Winter time. He'll be the only young big we have and do all the dirty work that the elder KG and the O'Neal brothers can't do anymore.
If Perkins is able to come back this year and that is still a pretty big "IF" after the triple tear knee injury, do you see Doc benching either of the O'Neal brothers? He could bench Baby, but that would be a mistake in my opinion. No team plays more than 4 bigs, especially in the playoffs. I think there's a strong possibility that Perkins's expiring contract will be moved.
Danny actually tried to move Perk this past June, but no one bit. Obviously Danny isn't sentimental to Celtics players who get hurt. He kicked Leon Powe to the curb after he tried to play on a bad knee to help the shorthanded Celtics out and blew out his own knee. Would Danny give Perkins a big contract extension next Summer? By doing so he's be investing in an injured knee and with Perk, Rondo, and Pierce all making big money, his plan to have financial flexibility in the Summer of 2012 would be shot. I've seen the Celtics this Summer sign Ray, Nate, and Jermaine all to 2 year contracts. My guess is Danny gave them more money per year than they wanted in exchange for shorter deals. I'm sure Ray and Jermaine at least could have gotten 3 yr deals elsewhere. So if Danny isn't inclined to give Perkins more than a 2 year deal, I can't see how the Celtics won't be outbid for his services. Miami, to name one potential suitor, will offer Perk the full boat MLE quicker than 'Sheed sprinted to Burger King after hearing about the "BK Buck Double."
This leaves the unfortunate situation of Perk coming back to a too crowded front court and I could see Danny trying to move his 4.6 million dollar expiring deal to another team. Do I want to lose Perk? Obviously not. All I'm trying to say is before you go out and buy a Perkins jersey expecting to see the big man for years to come back in the Garden, just be prepared that he might only play another two dozen or so games for the Celtics and with a limited role. He might never even play another game for the Celtics. I hated to lose Powe and it will be even harder to lose Perk, but I'm not so naive as to not expect it. Lastly not to sound like sour grapes, but I'm 100% sure that if Perkins doesn't go down in Game 6 that not only are we defending NBA champions right now, but we would have beaten the Lakers in Game 7 by more than 20. Probably 25. They were about to fold in the 3rd quarter (Similar to how they folded in Game 6 in 2008). The Lakers just fold during adversity. The only thing that saved them was that we ran out of gas (and all their offensive rebounds in the 1st half due to Perk's absence). With Perk those rebounds don't happen and we have the depth to last those final 16 minutes or so. That damn knee injury had so many negative consequences, one which might mean the last of Perk in green. JR 8/18/2010 01:44:00 PM Tweet Edit