Kevin Durant’s impending free agency continues to be a hot topic in NBA circles, as everyone around the league speculates on what team the All-Star forward will continue his career with this summer. One player who has a better insight than most on that topic is a Boston fan favorite: Kendrick Perkins. The former Thunder center played with Durant for four seasons in Oklahoma City and still talks with him on a weekly basis.
Before suiting up as a member of the New Orleans Pelicans Wednesday night, Perkins fielded several questions about his ongoing relationship with Durant, as well as the tough decision awaiting the prized free agent this July.
“Me and KD, we talk at least once a week,” Perkins said. “So we’ve got a real great relationship. I talk to him. He calls me when he’s going through whatever. I call him at the same time. I could say I kind of raised him a little bit because I tried to bring what I learned from here, and when I went to OKC I tried to bring that mentality and it rubbed off on him. And they grew a lot over there. He grew a lot as a player. So it’s friendships and all that.”
While Perkins tried to steer clear of giving away any true clues about Durant’s intentions this summer, he did manage to slip in a few subtle hints when asked about the possibility of the Thunder star considering Boston as a destination.
“Boston and everybody else, right?” Perkins suggested when told Boston will be going after Durant this summer. “But [Durant] never brought that up. I never, as a friend I try not to talk to him too much about free agency. I always try to just want to talk to him about things outside of basketball. We talk about personal life and stuff like that. And I know he’s getting this question every day on the hour and stuff like that, so I try not to bother him. But he did shoot some teams out there that he made me sign a confidentiality form that I couldn’t tell nobody. He’s got a few teams that he will be looking at.”
When asked about whether he would be surprised if Durant elected to sign with Boston, Perkins dodged answering the idea directly.
“You’re trying to get me to really answer the question. I can’t answer that. I want to, but I can’t. I mean, I don’t know. I do know but I don’t know,” he explained.
Perkins went on to suggest that Durant’s decision to potentially leave Oklahoma City will be dependent on how the team fares this postseason.
“It’s a possibility,” he said of Durant leaving the Thunder. “I think it all (depends) on what happens in these playoffs. They win it all, he can’t leave in my opinion. But if they don’t, it might be time for a change. But you never know.”
While Celtics fans may be hoping Perkins might advice Durant to join his original team, the 31-year-old quipped, “I would tell him to come wherever I’m at.” Perkins will also be a unrestricted free agent this summer.