It's no secret that Kendrick Perkins wanted to get paid when his current contract with the Celtics expired come this summer. Danny Ainge was well aware of this, too, considering that Perkins rejected his contract offer of $22 million over four years.
In the end, that's may have played a role in Ainge's decision to send Perkins packing on Thursday afternoon. Boston traded their starting center of the past eight years along with Nate Robinson to the Oklahoma City Thunder in exchange for Jeff Green and Nenad Kristic.
It wasn't the amount of years that bothered Perkins, as he was only looking for a few extra (million) dollars. Here are Perkins' comments to CSNNE.com Celtics insider Anthony Sherrod Blakely from earlier this month.
"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."
Tom Ziller of SB Nation points out that, following Perkins' rejection of Boston's offer, Ainge knew that he probably wouldn't be getting his starting center back. Ziller also points out that the Celtics took a step back defensively with the trade.
The fact that the Celtics tried this month to extend Perkins means that the franchise's belief in its own ability to keep the center at a fairly low salary was waning. Perkins didn't receive an adequate big man replacement in trading Perkins, with Jeff Green being more of a small forward and Nenad Krstic being both mediocre and a pending free agent. The Celtics also traded Semih Erden, a promising big man from Turkey, to the Cavaliers to cut salary.
Perkins, by holding out for more than $5 million a year, may have gotten himself traded.