In the 2015-2016 NBA season, veteran NBA center Kendrick Perkins played in just 37 games for the New Orleans Pelicans, averaging 2.5 points and 3.5 rebounds in 14.6 minutes per contest.
After spending the first eight seasons of his career with the Boston Celtics, where he won his only championship in 2008, Perkins spent four and a half years with the Oklahoma City Thunder before a brief stint with the Cleveland Cavaliers in 2015 and partial campaign with the Pelicans the following season.
Despite being a rotational big man at his peak, Perkins made over $57.7 million over the course of his 13-year career, but he still thinks he has plenty to offer and doesn’t consider himself retired despite sitting out a full season last year due to a lack of interest in him from teams around the league.
“The body feels good, man, I’m just sitting here waiting on an opportunity,” he told Gary Washburn of the Boston Globe. “Hopefully I can get a training camp invite soon. I want to earn my way. I don’t want nobody to give me nothing. So I’ve been working hard, going two or three times a day, working and grinding. I’m just trying to stay with it.”
Partially due to his injury-ridden past and most likely mainly due to his lack of production, it pained Perkins to not get any calls last summer.
“You’re sitting back, waiting on a job, you want in and not just sitting around the house. I wasn’t ready for that in that point in my life,” he said. “I think it was a very humbling situation for me. I thought it made me realize the importance and not to take it for granted.”
As one of the league’s true enforcers on the interior, Perkins made a name for himself as one of the grittiest centers in the league. Now, at age 32, he’s hoping that he gets another shot, and is putting in the work necessary to transform his body.
“I’ve been keeping my weight down, making sure I’m getting all the cardio I need, staying in great shape,” Perkins explained. “I’m just going to do what I can. I feel good. I’ve been on top of my basketball work and I’m just waiting for my opportunity, it if happens. I’ve just changed my diet, working on my quickness, and just trying to get better. It’s 30 teams out there and I’m just looking for one opportunity. It will come. I’m just trying to leave it in God’s hands.”
For a team that’s looking for an extra back-up big, Perkins would likely be happy to sign at the veteran’s minimum. Given his experience, he might be a solid fit on a rebuilding team in need of an experienced mentor or as a complementary piece on a contending squad.