Perkins extension means OKC serious title contender for years

Thursday, May 26th 2011, 1:34 pm
By: News 9

Originally Published: Mar 1, 2011 10:1 AM CDT

<STRONG>Don&rsquo;t underestimate the significance of the contract extension signed by new low-post man Kendrick Perkins. This ensures that the Thunder will be a challenger in the West and a potential NBA Champion for the next several years. Amazing. </STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>I&rsquo;m told Sam Presti actually picked Perkins up at the airport when he arrived after the trade that sent him from Boston to the Thunder. Shuttle service should tell you something.&#160; Just another touch of class by the 34 year-old general manager, who continues to dazzle in his role as the guy responsible for all the major decisions of this young organization. </STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>Getting Perkins to agree to an extension was the only way this trade was going to have ended up being a good deal. Signing a guy who has played only twelve games due to injury, who would play only a third of one season was not worth shipping out two starters, including the young and talented Jeff Green. </STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>The other critical issue is how long it takes him to get healthy and if he can remain that way in the long term. I&rsquo;m betting Presti is all over this one or he wouldn&rsquo;t have cut the deal. The Thunder actually got the all important MRI from Boston over a week ago that showed them the serious knee injury he suffered in the NBA Finals against the Lakers will not keep him from returning this season and being healthy enough to be a force in the future. </STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>Perkins has had an interest in the Thunder going back to the summer when he and the Celts could not agree on an extension. Still, convincing the &ldquo;best low post defender we have in the game today&rdquo; (Kobe&rsquo;s answer to our question Sunday afternoon about the trade) to move from the quintessential franchise in Beantown to small market OKC is a tribute to both the franchise and to the respect Presti has earned. </STRONG></P><STRONG>&#160;</STRONG></P><STRONG>Yes, this is a huge day for the Thunder. Whether Perkins is able to get on the court soon enough for the Thunder to make a serious run in the playoffs is now not near as important as it seemed a day ago. This move means the Thunder is going to be a legitimate player in the Association for years to come. Sam, give yourself a pat on your back. And give yourself a pay raise. </STRONG></P><BR/>