The Boston Celtics traded Kendrick Perkins just before the NBA trade deadline on Thursday, shocking just about everyone who follows the NBA. Perkins has been a crucial member of Boston's championship-winning core, and as the rare cheap member of the roster, seemed like the perfect fit going forward. But Perkins' contract is up at season's end, and all indications are that the center wanted to cash in like the rest of the Celtics.
To that end, just weeks ago Perkins rejected a contract extension worth $22 million over four years. In comments to A. Sherrod Blakely of CSN New England at the time, Perkins indicated he'd have been more amenable to an extension worth $30 million over four years, which had been initially reported as the offer.
"That wasn't it. They offered me four years, but it was closer to like $22 million," Perkins said. "You talking four years, $30 million! Shoot, that's different. That's a big difference."
The fact that the Celtics tried this month to extend Perkins means that the franchise's belief in its own ability to keep the center at a fairly low salary was waning. Perkins didn't receive an adequate big man replacement in trading Perkins, with Jeff Green being more of a small forward and Nenad Krstic being both mediocre and a pending free agent. The Celtics also traded Semih Erden, a promising big man from Turkey, to the Cavaliers to cut salary.
Perkins, by holding out for more than $5 million a year, may have gotten himself traded.