Desmond says on Blitz health key to Perkins deal

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

Originally Published: Feb 28, 2011 10:9 AM CDT

Desmond Mason was on the Blitz Sunday. He&rsquo;s friends with Jeff Green, which may influence his opinion on the big trade. He clearly values the versatility of Green, his part in the special chemistry of this young team and his role in the community. I&rsquo;ve always liked Desmond; the way he played at OSU, the way he carried himself both in Stillwater and of course in the NBA, where he played with the OKC Hornets and Thunder. Cool guy who doesn&rsquo;t act it. Talented athlete and artist. Des and his wife have opened a business, Bar 3, which involves fitness. He&rsquo;s one of those guys who may speak softly but certainly carries a big stick on a basketball court. <br/>&#160;<br/>Des is high on OKC GM Sam Presti and believes he will have done his homework on how the addition of three new players and the loss of four players with impact team chemistry. I may be wrong, but I think there is hesitancy on Mason&rsquo;s part to get excited about the trade that has brought Boston center Kendrick Perkins to OKC because of health problems; as there should be. Perkins has played in only twelve games. He has issues with both knees. Major surgery on his left knee after the injury suffered in the NBA Finals which I believe cost Boston another championship. His other knee is sprained and is apparently going to keep him out 2-3 more weeks. His reported 280 pounds are not kind to sore knees. Game after game, practice after practice, the knees take quite a pounding with that kind of beef hammering away. <br/>&#160;<br/>If Perkins health is a problem, the trade will turn out to be a big bust. If Perkins doesn&rsquo;t re-sign after this season, the trade will turn out to be a bust. Presti will have traded two starters one in Green who was the best player involved in the entire seven-player deal who is young, close with Kevin Durant and a key reason team chemistry is extraordinarily good and gotten a guard he really didn&rsquo;t need, a journeyman if there ever was one backup big and basically a rent-a-player in Perkins who will have played for the Thunder for one-third a season.&#160; <br/>&#160;<br/>Yes, there&rsquo;s downside to this deal. As Presti told me Friday, any good deal has risk on both sides. The 34 year-old whiz kid/young man gained a reputation for being brilliant, thorough and someone with good instincts both in and out of basketball. I&rsquo;m saying the deal is good because I believe in Presti. <br/>&#160;<br/>He told me two things that lead me to that final opinion. One, his medical people saw the MRI on the bad knee several days ago. If they weren&rsquo;t convinced Perkins would not be healthy for years to come he&rsquo;s only 26he wouldn&rsquo;t have dared pulled the trigger on this deal. Two, after visiting with Presti, I believe the odds are that he&rsquo;ll be able to resign his lane-clogger. Perkins is not a New Yorker, a Bostonian (ironically, like Presti, who has now done two big time trades with the franchise he grew up following Ray Allen the other) or California Cool. He&rsquo;s a kid out of a high school near Beaumont. Rodeo, tornadoes and rabid football fans won&rsquo;t knock him off his bar stool. I&rsquo;m with Presti believing Perkins fits the prototype to a &ldquo;T&rdquo; for what this young and talented club needs. <br/>&#160;<br/>I see this club struggling for four weeks, finishing fourth in the West, winning a home-court series and going home after losing in the second round. It should be enough to entice Perk to stay. He&rsquo;ll be loved by the passionate fans and accepted by his grounded teammates. And Mr. Presti will go to Uncle Clay and Uncle Aubrey and all the OKC uncles not named Tom, and get all the jack it takes to do a deal. A deal that could ensure that OKC fans see KD, Westbrook, Perk and Serge staying together and playing together for five years or more. <br/>&#160;<br/>I&rsquo;d feel a lot better about all this if our friend Des felt it was a slam dunk. In reality, he&rsquo;s been around the Association long enough to know the only for-sure slam dunks are done over cars in Hollywood. <br/>