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

Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

Source: Celtics offseason focus is an All-Star frontcourt addition

WALTHAM, Mass. – No matter how an NBA team’s season ends, change is inevitable.
 
And while there’s no doubt that the Celtics are on the right track in terms of their ascension in the NBA, it's too soon to tell how many players on the Celtics’ 15-man roster that Danny Ainge, the president of basketball operations, will bring back next season.

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“One thing I do know. He’ll make the best decisions for the team and if players don’t end up being back here, I wish the best for them,” said Avery Bradley.  “Those are my brothers. We all had a special year. I appreciate everything, all the time I had with them. I’d love for all those guys to be back. We’ll see.”
 
And with Boston coming off its first trip to the Eastern Conference finals since 2012, adding just any player won’t cut it.
 
The Celtics’ mindset now isn’t just to improve, but get good enough to where they can better compete with the likes of Cleveland, which just ended the Celtics’ season with a Game 5 thumping.
 
The most significant move made by the Celtics last offseason was the signing of Al Horford to a four-year, $113 million contract.
 
Like most of his Boston teammates this season, Horford is eager to see what changes are in store this summer.
 
“We just have to wait and see,” Horford said. “We had such a good year. A lot of positive things. It’ll be interesting to see what Danny, the organization feels is going to be the next step.”
 
Multiple league sources have told CSNNE.com in recent weeks that the Celtics are focused on landing an All-Star caliber talent in the frontcourt.
 
That makes sense when you consider how guard-dominant the Celtics were this season and how that had a negative impact on the team’s rebounding and, to a lesser degree, their defense as a whole.
 
Gordon Hayward has emerged as a target, but all indications – for now at least – point toward him returning to Utah.
 
The Celtics may pursue Los Angeles Clippers big man Blake Griffin. Although like Hayward, he too is expected to re-sign with his current team for a max contract (for Griffin that would be five years, $175 million).
 
While trades are certainly in the cards for Boston, at this point the Celtics seem more inclined to improve their overall talent base via the draft and free agency.
 
“It’s always a good thing when you have the opportunity to add value to your team and don’t have to change your team too much,” said Celtics’ reserve Gerald Green, who will be a free agent this summer. “I’m going to be very interested to see what they do as far as building a team. We’re in a good place right now as far as being where we want to be organization-wise. I feel like we’re one or two steps away from actually being at the Finals. I think Danny has some things to think about, but I’m sure he’s going to do the job. I’ve seen Danny go to work in these situations. He always makes the team better. I’m pretty sure he’s got something planned that, at the end of the day, is going to make this organization better.”
 
Indeed, the Celtics could very well strengthen their position for next season by simply locking up some of their core players who may hit the free agent market soon.
 
Boston may look to work out an extension with Isaiah Thomas before the start of this season. Because if he hits free agency in the summer of 2018, he will be poised to command a salary that in year one would be worth more than the entire four-year, $27 million deal he signed with Phoenix in 2014.
 
“Boston’s changed my career, changed my life,” Thomas said. “I would love to be here long-term and win championships here. But as you guys know, it’s a business and anything can happen. I know that and understand that. But I would love to be here. This has been everything to me. This city, this organization … it’s been good.”

It was still a banner year for Celtics, according to Bleacher Report tweet

It was still a banner year for Celtics, according to Bleacher Report tweet


Minutes after the Celtics were eliminated by the Cleveland Cavaliers in Game 5 of the Eastern Conference finals, the folks at Bleacher Report tweeted a video that celebrated the C’s one victory in the series. 

Ouch. 

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There are 17 Celtics championship banners that actually exist and hang at TD Garden. You won’t be seeing one for being a “finalist” or celebrating an actual sweep, such as Spurs over Cavs in the NBA Finals.