Kendrick Perkins joined Jameer Nelson’s “Court Vision Podcast” on CLNS Media this week to give his musings on the state of the NBA. Perkins last played with the Cavaliers during the 2017-18 season, when he spent time in the G-League to keep his NBA career alive at 33.
Perkins then noticed the NBA shifting younger. The league peaked with an average age approaching 28 in 1999-2000, and since then decreased to a hair above 26 into the 2018-19 season. Nelson and Perkins, who both noted they involuntarily retired, discussed the implications of that shift.
“I think it hurts the league a lot,” Perkins said. “What if you were on that Utah Jazz team right now, you wouldn’t be hearing about these stories with Donovan Mitchell and Rudy Gobert. You would’ve found a way ... we’re going to dinner tonight to hash this out. That’s what veterans do.”
Perkins blamed the veteran minimum rising above $2.0 million, compared to under $1.0 million for a player with less than one season of experience. As maximum contracts balloon around the league and the luxury tax hits contenders with a multiplier for every million spent, that $1 million difference can amount to several million in savings for a team paying a multiplier tax.
“I got lied to when I was in New Orleans,” Perkins said. “The Cavs wanted to trade for me during the season, Oklahoma City ... I feel like (Dell Demps) cost me a championship ... he told them Perk is off limits. Perk is here for the long-haul, he’s our veteran leader for AD. We’re going to sign him back. Then all of a sudden in the summer time, he hits me up and is like we’re changing direction.”