Kendrick Perkins spoke to Marc Spears about his return from injury, his upcoming free agency, and the Celtics’ title chances. (Yahoo!)
On return from injury:
“I’m thinking right before the All-Star Break I will get a few games in, but maybe a little sooner than that,” Perkins said. “Things are going well. I haven’t had any setbacks or anything like that.”
On free agency:
“I will show that I’m back and there are no issues with my knee,” said Perkins, who is making $4.4 million this season. “I will have a bright future as far as free agency. We will see how this season turns out and how it goes from there.
“I want to be with the Celtics, but I got to think about my future.”
On title chances:
“In seven games I don’t think we can be beat by any team,” he said. “Too deep. Too much experience. Too many hard-working guys. Too many guys that have a chip on their shoulder.”
Quick thoughts about Perk’s free agency
Whether the Celtics retain Perk after this season could come down to how they feel about Semih Erden. On the open market, Perkins will likely command a contract somewhere between $45 million-$55 million over five or six years. I say that based on Brendan Haywood’s contract (six years, $55 million), Al Horford’s deal (five years, $60 million) and Joakim Noah’s deal (five years, $60 million).
I would never argue Perk can do the same things Horford or Noah do, but he’s more valuable (far more valuable, actually) than Haywood. If Perk can showcase his health for the rest of this season (and maybe even if he can’t), he’s in line for a big payday. Teams throw money at big man like Pacman Jones in a strip club. And after Perk’s line “but I got to think about my future,” I assume he won’t take a huge pay cut to stay in Boston.
Can the Celtics afford to pay him? They already have three centers signed for next season (Erden and the O’Neal brothers), and also need to make a free agency decision on Glen Davis (who’s busy earning a nice contract himself). At this point, I don’t even know what I would do.
Clearly, Danny Ainge will have some crucial decisions to make this summer.