It’s no secret that the Oklahoma City Thunder have one of the worst starting centers in the entire NBA with Kendrick Perkins. As I covered recently, Perkins may be a solid and physical low-post defender, but his offense is so putrid that I honestly don’t know how Thunder fans stomach watching him touch the ball on a nightly basis for their team.
The bad news for the Thunder is that it doesn’t get much better in their center rotation, even when Perkins hits the bench. As of right now the Thunder are carrying four centers on their roster in Perkins, Hasheem Thabeet, Daniel Orton and rookie Steven Adams. You may go ahead and cringe if you aren’t already at that line of big men.
Despite having little-to-no success over his three years in the league prior to coming to OKC, Thabeet wasn’t awful last season, but he also didn’t inspire much faith, either. In 66 appearances the big man averaged 2.4 points, three rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 11.7 minutes per game while shooting 60.4 percent from the field. He was reliable, but only really as a reserve, not as a player you would want playing 20 or more minutes per night.
Orton looked a lot more athletic and fit at the Orlando Summer League this year, but after playing just 29 games in the NBA in two seasons, it’s hard to imagine him contributing much. After Orton in the rotation, there is the rookie Adams who could develop into something eventually with his length and athleticism, but is really a work-in-progress at this point.
Yes, Kendrick Perkins is nearly unbearable to watch on the basketball court. However, the Thunder really don’t have much of a choice. They have no true center that they consistently turn to on their roster. If you had to pick out the glaring weakness of this Thunder team, their center rotation is where you should turn to first.
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