2013 NBA Draft: If Oklahoma City Thunder Go Big, is Kendrick Perkins a Goner?

By Ryan Heckman
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

One of the biggest reasons the Oklahoma City Thunder will fail to win a championship anytime soon is the lack of play from their post outside big man Serge Ibaka. With the 2013 NBA Draft upcoming, the Thunder will have the opportunity to select an addition to their front court at the number 12 overall pick.

If that happens, I believe it may be the end of the road for center Kendrick Perkins in Oklahoma City. In 25 minutes per game last season, Perkins managed just four points and six rebounds. I am not sure it could get any more awful in those two categories for Perkins. The Thunder need a versatile starter next to Ibaka and Perkins is simply not getting it done.

Many wonder if the amnesty will come into play with Perkins this offseason. I think it is going to be tough for Oklahoma City not to use it on the underperforming center especially if they go big in the first round – and it very well could happen.

With a need down low, the Thunder could have the possibility of these four guys being there at the 12th spot: Indiana‘s Cody Zeller, Pittsburgh‘s Steven Adams, Duke‘s Mason Plumlee or Gonzaga‘s Kelly Olynyk. Any one of these four may be worth a shot for the Thunder in attempt to replace Perkins.

If Zeller falls, the trigger will need to be pulled. That would be pretty surprising, however crazier things have happened. From there, I say the spotlight needs to be on Adams if available. At 7” tall, Adams could come in right away and contribute minutes to the rotation. In less minutes last year with Pittsburgh, Adams doubled Perkins’ block average per game- literally two to one.

Olynyk may be a reach at 12, but Plumlee certainly would be worth a look. He is a versatile center putting up great numbers last year, finishing just .1 rebounds shy of a double-double on the season.

This is all just speculation at the moment, but the possibility of Perkins getting the boot is becoming more and more promising – not sure if that’s the right word, but for now it works. The Thunder need help down low if they are going to compete for a title, and the reality is that he is not getting it done. Fortunately, Oklahoma City is sitting nicely in the draft despite their success this season and could replace Perkins real quickly.

Ryan Heckman is a Senior NBA writer for RantSports.com also contributing to the NFL. Follow him on Twitter, “Like” him on Facebook, or add him to your network on Google.

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