Kendrick Perkins signed a contract extension with the Okahoma City Thunder on Tuesday, and now, we have an idea how much Perkins will end up making in the deal. Perkins' extension is for four years and $34.8 million, according to a report by Yahoo! Sports' Adrian Wojnarowski.
Perkins had previously rejected a four-year, $22 million extension offer by the Boston Celtics. The Celtics then traded him to the Thunder right before Thursday's trade deadline.
At first glance, one would think the Thunder simply valued Perkins more than the Celtics, but that conclusion is somewhat misleading. The reality was that the Thunder, due to some clever maneuvering at the trade deadline, made themselves eligible to offer Perkins more money on an extension than the Celtics could. The Celtics did not possess additional cap room, so the most they could offer Perkins is an extension that started at $6 million per year. The Thunder, meanwhile, opened up enough cap room to offer Perkins as much as $35 million on a contract extension, according to salary-cap site Sham Sports. In the end, it appears the Thunder essentially did just that, since Wojnarowski reports there are also bonus clauses that could push the value of the contract higher.
To facilitate the final figure on the contract, the Thunder bumped Perkins' 2010/11 salary number from $2.3 million to $6.7 million using the additional cap space they owned, according to Wojnarowski. This allowed the Thunder to offer Perkins the $34.8 million extension, since any new contract offer can only be a certain percentage above the existing contract offer per NBA rules. The Celtics' maximum offer had to be based on the initial salary number, which explains why they could not offer more than $22 million.
Had Perkins not signed the contract extension by March 1, he would have become an unrestricted free agent. He likely chose to simply sign the extension now because of the uncertainty of the next collective bargaining agreement, whenever it is agreed upon.