Later Celtics, Kendrick Perkins Signs Deal with Thunder

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Center Kendrick Perkins must be pretty impressed with the Oklahoma City Thunder since he signed a contract extension with the NBA club on Mar. 1 that will take him until the end of the 2014-15 NBA season.

Perkins was traded to the Thunder from Boston just five days earlier and has yet to play a game with his new team. He won the championship with the Celtics in 2008 and played seven seasons with them. It’s believed his new contract will see him make about $36 million.

Perkins admitted it was a terrible feeling when he was dealt by Boston after being with the club so long, but quickly changed his mind after arriving in Oklahoma as everything there just blew him away. He said he likes Oklahoma City because it reminds him of his hometown Beaumont, Texas. He added that the Thunder is nothing less than a “first-class” franchise and felt signing with them was a better option than testing the free-agent waters at the end of the current season.

Being a country boy, Perkins said he’s pretty easy to please and it wasn’t too hard coming to an agreement with the Thunder. He was traded with Nate Robinson just before the trade deadline for Nenad Krstic, Jeff Green, and a first-round draft pick. Perkins had only played in a dozen games with the Celtics this season due to a knee injury he suffered in the sixth game of last year’s NBA finals. However, he might be out for the next three weeks because of a knee sprain.

Oklahoma had some salary cap space after the deal and another one that saw D.J. White and Morris Peterson dealt to Charlotte in return for Nazr Mohammed. The team figured they’d use that money to make a better offer to Perkins. GM Sam Presti said he’s glad things worked out the way they did because Perkins will offer stability to the club for several years.

Perkins stands 6-foot-10 and was drafted 27th overall back in 2003. He has a career point average of 6.4 to go along with his 6.1 rebound average. The Thunder can use his defensive skills, but the cost was high as they had to deal two starters to get him. The team is strong offensively though with Kevin Durant signing a five-year contract last year and Nick Collison agreeing to an extension.

Presti said the squad has a strong foundation with these players and they’ll be able to grow and improve together as a unit, making them a competitive club for years to come.