Chris Elise/Getty Images
Free-agent NBA center Kendrick Perkins spoke with Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe on Wednesday and expressed his interest in returning to the league, with the Boston Celtics being one of the teams he has in mind:
gary washburn @GwashburnGlobe
Kendrick Perkins said he wants to play in the NBA this season but said it would be his last year. Waiting for 10-day opportunities to open up in January and he has reached out to #Celtics https://t.co/IQMwl9cmz7
A 14-year NBA veteran, Perkins has averaged 5.4 points and 5.8 rebounds during his career. He’s only played one game over the last two years, posting three points and a rebound in 15 minutes for the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2017-18. In his last extended run with a team, Perkins averaged 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 37 games with the New Orleans Pelicans in 2015-16.
Perkins played seven-plus seasons with the C’s to start his professional tenure. He was the team’s starting center during the “Big Three” era when Ray Allen, Kevin Garnett and Paul Pierce helped lead Boston to a 2008 NBA Finals win and 2010 Eastern Conference title. Perkins’ career apex occurred during 2008-2010, as he averaged 8.5 points, 7.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game across three seasons.
Perkins was a valuable member of those Celtics teams, but it’s hard to imagine he could contribute much as a traditional center. While Boston may need some help given its disappointing 11-10 start, Perkins isn’t the right fit for today’s small-ball NBA in which big men stretch the floor beyond the three-point line. Incidentally, Perkins doesn’t have a single three-pointer to his name in a decade-and-a-half of pro ball.
Furthermore, the Celtics already have better and younger options down low in Al Horford, Aron Baynes and Daniel Theis. Cracking that frontcourt rotation would be a tall order.
Ultimately, Perkins is a Beantown sports legend for his role on a championship team that broke a 22-year championship drought. However, a spot on the Celtics is difficult to fathom right now.