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Kendrick Perkins Comments on Kevin Durant's Impending Free Agency

Tim Daniels@TimDanielsBRFeatured ColumnistApril 7, 2016

Oklahoma City Thunder center Kendrick Perkins (5) reacts to an official's call during an NBA basketball game against the Charlotte Bobcats in Oklahoma City, Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. forward Kevin Durant (35) is at right. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)
Sue Ogrocki/Associated Press

New Orleans Pelicans center Kendrick Perkins confirmed Wednesday that he's discussed free agency with Oklahoma City Thunder superstar Kevin Durant, but he wasn't able to provide many details.  

Chris Forsberg of ESPN.com passed along comments from the 31-year-old veteran, who spent time playing alongside Durant in Oklahoma City. He noted there are certain teams that will receive strong consideration this summer, but he explained why he couldn't name them.

"But he did shoot some teams out there that he made me sign a confidentiality form that I couldn't tell nobody," Perkins said. "He's got a few teams that he will be looking at."

That said, apparently it was more of an informal agreement, per ESPN's Zach Lowe:

Zach Lowe @ZachLowe_NBA

To clarify, being told by league sources there is no on-paper confidentiality agreement b/w Perk and Durant.

Perkins spent parts of five seasons with Durant as a member of the Thunder starting in 2011. He wouldn't dive much deeper into the issue about which teams could be contenders for the seven-time All-Stars services, but he did provide an overarching statement about his status, per ESPN.com: "[The Thunder] win it all, he can't leave, in my opinion. But if they don't, it might be time for a change."

There are two intriguing aspects of the Perkins' remarks, even though they didn't add much detail to the equation.

The first regards the idea of leaving if Oklahoma City doesn't win the title. Though Perkins stated that was his own opinion, Pelicans play-by-play man Joel Meyers said on SiriusXM NBA Radio in March that Durant was taking a "NBA Finals or bust" approach to the situation.

Anthony Slater of the Oklahoman noted the 2014 NBA Most Valuable Player shot down that report:

If it didn't come from me or anyone I know, like I said in the summer time, I don't know where it came from. Everybody makes up rumors around this time of year and everyone wants clicks for their stories, so that's a part of it. I have nothing to do with that. I can't control it. I'm just focused on playing better each and every day.

Those remarks play right into the second interesting part of Perkins' comments, though. Most players convey a stance of not thinking about free agency until they actually get there. The Pelicans center makes it clear Durant is already discussing it and has teams in mind.

The bottom line is that it's shaping up to become a summer where the balance of power in the NBA could shift dramatically. Not only does Durant figure to generate a massive amount of interest, but the buzz surrounding LeBron James also continues to build amid a drama-filled season in Cleveland.

If nothing else, Perkins' comments should give hope to the Washington Wizards, Golden State Warriors and other teams hopeful of landing Durant. It's also another warning sign to the Oklahoma City front office to prepare Plan B, just in case the team's leading scorer does decide to leave this summer.

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