Oklahoma City Thunder Player Profile: Kendrick Perkins


With the NBA season fast approaching, the Thunderous Intentions team breakdown the players on the Oklahoma City Thunder roster. Follow the series as we uncover a player each day from now until the start of the NBA Season!

Name: Kendrick Le’Dale Perkins

Number: No. 5

Weight/Height: 280 lbs. / 6’10”

Position: Center

Last season: 3.4 PPG, 4.9 RPG, .5 BPG, 45% FG, 55% FT

Player Background:

Perkins is the Two-Face of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He is both the major enforcer and the source of Oklahoma City’s grit but also, at times, the most frustrating player. But it wasn’t always this way. Once upon a time, Perkins wasn’t so frustrating.

OKC’s master of pain was a pretty great talent coming out of Beaumont, Texas. During his senior year at Clifton J. Ozen High School, Perkins averaged 27.5 points and 16.4 rebounds per game. Perkins would be named a McDonald’s All-American that year and would forgo college to be drafted 27th by Memphis then traded immediately to Boston.

Perkins would go on to play seven seasons for the Celtics, while being a part of the 2008 NBA Championship team. While also being a enforcer for Boston, Perkins was also a pretty decent center as well. He would peak in the 2009-10 season, averaging 10 PPG, 7.6 RPG and 1.7 BPG. All that would change at the very end of the season, however. Perkins would injure his knee in Game 6 of the 2010 NBA Finals.

Perkins would eventually make his way to the Thunder in the 2010-11 season, where we all either despise or adore him (kind of like Nickleback, you either absolutely like them or you absolutely f–king hate them).

Offensive Breakdown: 

This is a tough pill to swallow for anyone who watches the Thunder with any consistency. The sad thing is, Perkins used to be a double-digit scorer. Unfortunately, those days are long over. Averaging only 3.4 PPG last season, Perkins was never a positive factor on the offensive side of the ball. On occasion, he would set himself up with 10-12 points out of the blue, but for the most part, Perkins has been an non-factor in the offensive game plan for the Thunder. Where Perkins is most useful offensively is away from the ball. Perkins is a great communicator as well as the best pick man (minus his one moving screen a game) that the Thunder have on offense, and this is where his best offensive contribution lies. But the Perkins follow-thru is a thing of beauty…

Defensive Breakdown:

If there is one thing that Perkins does well above anything else (except the follow-thru shown above) it is playing defense. Even though he has been hampered by multiple injuries, Perkins has been THE enforcer for the Thunder since he was traded. The defensive intensity of OKC since Perkins arrival has increased immensely. Perkins is a surprisingly good defender on the perimeter against small guards, but only for a few possessions. He plays great against big centers and power forwards, taking the challenge to shut down the biggest player on the floor. Besides Serge Ibaka, Perkins is the defensive anchor, regardless of his play on the other side of the ball.


Perkins value will always be attached to his defense. He has never been an offensive threat for the Thunder, and at 29 years old, he is not getting any younger. But this can change, if only slightly. Perkins has been losing weight over the past couple of season, gaining back a bit of his former agility and jumping ability. With an injury to Mitch McGary and the trading of Hasheem Thabeet, the frontcourt is a bit thin for the Thunder. If Perkins can contribute a bit more scoring than usual and stay at a high level on the defensive side of the ball, he might be able to keep his starting spot this season.


Kendrick Perkins is playing on borrowed time for the Thunder, not so much as far as playing but starting. Steven Adams is quickly developing into a great center talent, one that can score and provide a valuable inside threat if he were to start. However, this wont happen just yet. Adams still has problems with defending players without fouling and still has work to do on the defensive end, so Perkins’ starting spot seems to be safe for now. Thunder fans can only hope that Perkins reverts back to his impressive Boston days this season, otherwise it might be a tough year for the Thunder’s stare master.