New NBA rumors suggest a comeback for Kendrick Perkins as the Boston Celtics look for some veteran help down the stretch.
The 34-year-old free agent won a title with the Celtics in 2008 but has been out of the league for the start of this season. But Perkins said via Twitter this week that he hopes to return to the league in January when 10-day contract opportunities open up.
Perkins was in Boston to honor former teammate Paul Pierce at the the 17th Annual Tradition gala at The Sports Museum this week, and told NBC Sports Boston that he had already talked to Danny Ainge about a possible return to the Celtics.
Perkins, who played the majority of his career in Boston, said he hopes to play for the Beantown fans once more before he retires.
“You’re playing for one of the great sports towns, period. Playing for one of the best basketball organizations in the NBA. At (that) moment I was in my 20s just playing basketball and not really soaking it in and embracing the moment. Now as I got older, I’m like, ‘d**n, I was really on the Celtics.’ Even when I was on the Cavs and came in to play the playoffs, I was like, ‘Man, this was home; this is how it used to be. You don’t find this nowhere else.'”
Kendrick Perkins said he wants to play in the NBA this season but said it would be his last year. Waiting for 10-day opportunities to open up in January and he has reached out to #Celtics pic.twitter.com/IQMwl9cmz7— gary washburn (@GwashburnGlobe) November 28, 2018
As NESN noted, Ainge addressed the NBA rumors and said there isn’t a place for Kendrick Perkins on the Celtics right now. However, the situation isn’t set in stone and the team could look for help if facing injuries or if they seek veteran leadership down the stretch.
The Celtics, the pick of many to be the Eastern Conference champion this year after nearly knocking off LeBron’s Cavs last year, have stumbled out to an 11-10 start and are lingering at the edge of the playoff picture. There have been reports that the team is seeking some veteran additions to the lineup to boost Kyrie Irving so he doesn’t have to shoulder such a large load.
Perkins could also help to improve an already stellar defense. The Celtics are surrendering just 104.3 points per game, the second-best mark in the Eastern Conference and third in the league overall. The team’s trek back to the Eastern Conference Finals would likely have to go through the high-scoring Toronto Raptors and Milwaukee Bucks, so the value of Kendrick Perkins could rise dramatically in the playoffs.