The Oklahoma City Thunder are experiencing the NBA equivalent of First World Problems these days, as they could realistically field a team of Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Serge Ibaka, a smattering of minimum vets, and still make the Western Conference Finals every year (barring injuries, of course). However, one person definitely not helping in any potential deep playoff run is Kendrick Perkins, the seven-foot thorn in the side of OKC fans (and people who just enjoy watching basketball, in general) who just logged the worst playoff performance in the history of everything.
There has been lots of chatter since last off-season about what the Thunder should do with their ineffective big man, and, after a 4-1 exit at the hands of the Memphis Grizzlies this past week, the “A” word quickly rose to the top of the solution pile again. Alas, according to Darnell Mayberry, Thunder general manager Sam Presti has no such plans to amnesty their much-maligned center:
This latest news probably won’t sit well with Thunder fans, as Perkins is essentially the net result of the trade that landed Jeff Green with the Sonics/Thunder (Presti shipped Ray Allen and Glen Davis to Boston for the rights to Green, then turned around and shipped Green to Boston a few years later to get Perk). That sequence alone would get a double “yikes!” from us if not for the fact Presti also nixed a trade for Tyson Chandler in 2009 (a move which ultimately swung the 2011 NBA title), and dumped James Harden for one year of Kevin Martin and a fruit basket.
If you toss in the questionable trading away of other young, talented role players — Carl Landry, Eric Bledsoe, Rodrigue Beaubois, Quincy Pondexter — throughout his tenure, it’s not a stretch to think Presti may be running out of the decade’s-worth of free passes he accumulated after his first two draft lotteries.
Oh, and don’t get us started on the fact Scott Brook is heading into his sixth year as head coach.