What a day Thursday was for the Cleveland Cavaliers. Prior to the trade deadline at 3 p.m. ET, many knew that the wine and gold had to make at least one move in order to improve the team so that they could potentially make yet another NBA Finals appearance in June. Although a move or two was expected, no one predicted that the Cavs would trade six players and get four in return, completely revamping their roster in February, which is unheard of for a championship-caliber team. With the deals, Cleveland opened up two spots on the roster, essentially for potential buyout candidates or current free agents.
It seems as though one of those two vacant roster spots will be taken up by Kendrick Perkins after the All-Star break. New York Times’ Marc Stein first tweeted about the possible reunion for the big man in Cleveland, which was followed up by Perkins himself making it official, or so we thought. But then Perkins deleted a tweet and Instagram post stating that he’s joining the Cavs, which was followed up by cleveland.com’s Joe Vardon stating that “Perkins has not signed with the Cavs, who intend to let the dust settle with their two roster spots. Head into the All-Star break before filling them.”
With all that said, it seems as though Perkins could join the team sooner rather than later, according to New York Daily News’ Frank Isola.
Kendrick Perkins, playing for the Cavs G-League team, was informed weeks ago that if he were to be called up it would happen after the trade deadline. https://t.co/Dm3Jz2bytb
— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) February 8, 2018
So far this season, the 33-year-old is currently with the Canton Charge, the Cavs’ G-League affiliate, where he is trying to stay in shape while proving to NBA teams that he still wants to be in the league. In 27 games with the Charge this season, the veteran is averaging 8.7 points, 7.2 rebounds, and 1.9 assists in 21.1 minutes per game. He’s also shooting 53 percent from the floor. But having not played in the NBA since the 2015-16 season, when he played in 37 games for the New Orleans Pelicans.
Having previously been with Cleveland during their late-season and postseason run in 2015, the Cavs are familiar with the veteran. Although he may not contribute much on the court, Perkins could potentially help the transition following the roster overhaul, along with his experience and leadership in the locker room. With the departure of Channing Frye, a guy that keeps things going well behind the scenes is important. Essentially, Perkins’ contributions off the court are more important to the Cavs than his potential contributions on the court.
With premature posts on social media, it seems as though Perkins is very excited to return to Cleveland, where he spent a brief stint in 2015. He would be a great addition in terms of morale, and team chemistry, along with being the enforcer that everyone seems to think that he is.