The bottom of the New Orleans Pelicans roster received some clarity this evening. First, news broke that the Pelicans have agreed to a one year contract at the minimum for center Kendrick Perkins. Perkins logged 981 minutes last season with the Oklahoma City Thunder before he was traded to the Utah Jazz. After he was quickly waived he signed on with the Cleveland Cavaliers for the minimum. Perkins logged just 33 minutes during the postseason with the Cavaliers.
Perkins has rapidly diminished in effectiveness on the basketball court. Thankfully, he slots as the fourth center for the Pelicans behind Omer Asik, Alexis Ajinca, and the time Anthony Davis will find in small ball units. Perkins is not being brought in for his on court talents, although his ability to commit a timely hard foul to send a message could come in handy.
What Perkins does bring is experience, veteran know-how, and toughness to a franchise that lacks all of these things to some degree. Despite being just 30 years old (Perkins actually made the leap directly from high school to the NBA) the former Boston Celtic is now the oldest Pelican on the roster. Unlike former head coach Monty Williams I do not believe fans should fear these traits mean Perkins will usurp any meaningful minutes from the three big men ahead of him in the rotation.
Sources indicate #Pelicans signed Perkins a one year deal at the veteran minimum.— Scott Kushner (@ScottDKushner) July 21, 2015
Make no mistake, if Perkins is logging real minutes in a regular season game something has gone horribly wrong. This is a chemistry signing. A locker room signing. Possibly even connected to an eventual push to sign Kevin Durant in the summer of 2016.
Happy Trails Seth Curry
In other Pelican related news Summer League superstar Seth Curry agreed to a two year contract with the Sacramento Kings. His place in the rotation there is interesting. Currently the Kings have Rajon Rondo, Darren Collison, and David Stockton (yes, son of John Stockton) under contract.
Yahoo Sources: Seth Curry agrees to a two-year, $2M deal with the Sacramento Kings. http://t.co/BgP0wm6alq— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) July 22, 2015
It appears that this is a minimum contract with the second year as a player option. In essence, both years are guaranteed although control of the second year is in Curry's hands. Earlier reports that Curry and the Pelicans were in discussions on guaranteed money lead me to believe that New Orleans wanted some control over that second year. Instead Curry has the power with the Kings.
As of now the Pelicans have 12 players under guaranteed contract. Jrue Holiday, Eric Gordon, Quincy Pondexter, Anthony Davis, Omer Asik, Tyreke Evans, Ryan Anderson, Dante Cunningham, Alexis Ajinca, Alonzo Gee, Luke Babbitt, and Kendrick Perkins. In addition, the guarantee date for Toney Douglas is August 1st. Norris Cole remains a restricted free agent and his possible landing spots continue to dwindle. If Cole eventually signs his qualifying offer and the Pelicans waive Douglas that fill 13 of 15 possible roster slots.
Dell Demps is probably going to keep one roster spot open, meaning just one roster spot is up for grabs. I do not expect that player to command much guaranteed money. On most nights the 14th player does not even get in uniform. Larry Drew II, also of the Pelicans summer league roster, will be one name fans gravitate towards. A third ball handler of some kind makes sense. I wouldn't be surprised if the Pelicans hunt for someone with more size than the 6'2" Drew II.