Now that the Oklahoma City Thunder have been eliminated by the San Antonio Spurs, losing the Western Conference Finals in six games, they once again face an offseason of trying to get over that final hump.
One way many believe the Thunder can help their cause is by using the amnesty clause on Kendrick Perkins. Steve Kyler of Basketball Insiders argues that using the amnesty clause on Perkins achieves very little.
Fans have been calling for the Thunder to use their Amnesty roster cut on Kendrick Perkins and his remaining $9.4 million contract year. The problem with using the Amnesty on Perkins is it really does nothing towards the salary cap other than reducing a possible tax burden. The Thunder are sitting on $67.5 million in expected salary commitments and are under the expected $73 million Luxury tax. Cutting Perkins clears a little bit of cap room, but as we covered above the Thunder historically have never been overly active buyer in free agency, so what’s really gained in cutting Perkins except paying him not to be on the roster? Roster space is not a problem, and Perkins has been a major influence on Kevin Durant and his growth as an all-around player. Perkins’ ending contract could be a very tradable asset, especially at the trade deadline and luxury tax is not an issue for the Thunder until then either, as tax is computed based on what’s on the roster at the end of the season, so Amnesty on Perkins achieves very little in the grand scheme.
Perkins averaged 3.4 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Thunder this season.