Perkins rejects Celtics' preliminary offer

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Perkins rejects Celtics' preliminary offer

By A.Sherrod Blakely
CSNNE.com

CHARLOTTE, N.C. Kendrick Perkins is still focused on remaining a Boston Celtic after he becomes a free agent this summer.

Just as important, he wants to get a contract that he deems fair market value.

And the preliminary offer made by the Celtics, according to Perkins, won't cut it.

Perkins told CSNNE.com prior to Boston's 94-89 loss to the Charlotte Bobcats that the offer made to him was for four years around 22 million.

An earlier report by the Boston Herald cited two unnamed sources that indicated Perkins turned down a contract extension that was for four years and worth slightly less than 30 million.

"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."

When the offer was made, the C's had no idea as to when Perkins would return to the floor after having knee surgery, or how he would perform.

Needless to say, the 6-foot-11 center has exceeded everyone's expectations.

When he suffered a torn MCL and PCL right knee injury in Game Six of the NBA Finals last June against the Los Angeles Lakers, there was some concern that he might not be able to return at all this season.

Seven months later, there was Perkins, on the floor in his first game against the Cleveland Cavaliers on Jan. 25.

It wasn't one of his best games - he had seven points and six rebounds in 17 minutes.

But it was good enough to show the Celtics and any other potential suitor, that he was still able to do many of the things he did prior to the injury.

And as he gets in better basketball shape as far as running and timing and such, Perkins' impact on games will only increase.

We saw some of that in Monday's loss to the Charlotte Bobcats.

One of Perkins' biggest concerns since he has been back has been his timing on blocked shots.

In his first six games back, he had just one rejection.

Perkins has racked up five blocked shots in the last two games, including a season-high three against the Bobcats.

Because of the intense conditioning Perkins has put his body through while rehabilitating his knee, he's arguably in the best shape of his career.

"I feel like it," he said in a recent interview with CSNNE.com. "I feel good; real good."

It shows in his play, which has been instrumental of late as the Celtics try to withstand another storm of injuries to their frontcourt.

Shaquille O'Neal remains out with an Achilles tendon injury, an injury that Celtics coach Doc Rivers said might keep him off the floor until after the All-Star break. Jermaine O'Neal recently had surgery on his left knee, and he's not expected back until sometime in late March or early April. And then there's Semih Erden, who has battled an assortment of injuries all season. Erden did not play on Monday because of a sore right adductor injury.

Although Perkins was supposedly on a minutes restriction after returning to the lineup, his play has made it difficult for Rivers to keep him off the floor.

After being limited to around 20 minutes in his first four games, Perkins has played at least 33 minutes in each of Boston's last three games.

In the eight games Perkins has played, he has averaged 6.3 points and 8.4 rebounds per game. In his first start, he tallied a double-double of 13 points and 12 rebounds in a 101-97 loss to the Dallas Mavericks on Feb. 4.

He understands that his contract situation is something that will generate a lot of interest throughout the season, but it's not something he thinks about a lot.

"It's important, don't get me wrong," Perkins said. "But my biggest priority is getting out there, doing what I can to help this team win a championship. All that other stuff, the contract, the money . . . it'll all work out how it's supposed to, just as long as I go out there and do my job."

A. Sherrod Blakely can be reached atsblakely@comcastsportsnet.com.Follow Sherrod on Twitter at http:twitter.comsherrodbcsn

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

Pistons to honor Hamilton, who had impact on several Celtics

AUBURN HILLS, Mich. -- The Detroit Pistons will retire the jersey number of former UConn star Rip Hamilton tonight, an instrumental figure in the Pistons’ success in the early 2000s that included an NBA title in 2004.
 
Although Hamilton never played for Boston, his impact can be felt within the Celtics locker room.
 
Boston’s Amir Johnson spent his first four NBA seasons as a teammate of Hamilton's in Detroit.
 
In that time, Johnson acknowledges how many of the positive things folks associate with him come from lessons he learned from Hamilton.
 
“He was so relentless when he ran,” Johnson told CSNNE.com. “I remember working out with him one summer. For him to even get his shot off, he sprints full court, goes back down shooting shots, and he just kept doing this over and over and over again, full court sprinting . . . To see that as a young kid, and at his age, just working hard like that, it was great to see.”
 
James Young grew up in nearby Rochester Hills, Mich., so he watched Hamilton’s scoring prowess up close and personal.
 
And as he continued to evolve as a player, Young would see Hamilton during the summer months while attending Hamilton’s basketball camps.
 
“I was there every year, won MVP a few times,” Young told CSNNE.com. “He’s a great guy, a great player.”
 
And, like Hamilton, Young has a lanky frame for an NBA player, which was among the many reasons Young acknowledged Hamilton as being one of his first significant basketball influences as a youth.
 
“For sure,” Young said. “His mid-range game was crazy, great shooter. He was always consistent.”
 
And that consistency has paid off in the highest honor an NBA franchise can bestow upon a player.
 
“That’s big time,” Johnson said. “He’s a champion, great father, great baller. To have his jersey retired is an honor. To see the success he had in the league, and to see his jersey retired with the greats, it's definitely an honor. I’m glad I’ll be there to see that. Kudos to him. He’s a hard worker. Had a great career. I had my high school jersey retired, but to get your NBA jersey retired, that’s great.”
 
Hamilton played 14 seasons in the NBA, nine of which were with the Pistons. A career 17.1 points per game score, he averaged 18.4 with Detroit and was named an Eastern Conference All-Star three times (2006-2008).
 
Although he is known as one of the greatest mid-range shooters of his era, Hamilton began to expand his range over time. During the 2005-06 season, Hamilton shot 45.8 percent from 3-point range (most of them being corner 3’s), which led the NBA that season.  

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