Kendrick Perkins is the starting center for the Boston Celtics. Drafted with the 27th pick in the 2003 NBA Draft by the Memphis Grizzlies, Perkins attended Clifton J. Ozen High School where he was a McDonald’s All American. On draft night, Perkins was traded with Marcus Banks to Boston for Dahntay Jones and Troy Bell. He began his NBA career in the 2003-2004 season as a backup big man for the Celtics.
As he was drafted directly out of high school, Kendrick Perkins’s rookie season was one of learning and development. He played only ten games for a total of 35 minutes. He spent his sophomore season as a tenth man, playing 60 games and averaging three rebounds in nine minutes per contest.
In 2005-2006, his third season, Perkins became the starting center for the Celtics. In 40 starts, he began to develop as a role player, contributing 6.6 points, 6.7 rebounds, and 1.8 blocks in 23 minutes per start. He was part of a very young developing squad that was in rebuilding mode, winning just 33 games, but Perkins’s development was making him an integral part of the Celtics’ future.
In the 2006-2007 season, injuries slowed Kendrick Perkins and the Celtics in general. This was the worst season of the decade for the Celtics, finishing with a decade-low 24 wins and the worst record in the eastern conference. Perkins saw his overall production decline to 4.5 points and 5.2 rebounds per game, but the stage was set for a resurgence.
Perkins started all 78 of his games in 2007-2008, playing alongside Kevin Garnett in a revamped Boston frontcourt. Perkins shot 61.5 percent while averaging 7.0 points, 6.1 rebounds, and 1.5 blocks per game. He gave Boston an ideal complimentary player to Garnett, serving as a role player whose job involved setting good picks, playing physical defense, and crashing the glass. With Perkins as their Center, the Celtics went on to win the 2008 NBA championship.
Kendrick Perkins wasn’t done growing as a player. After winning a title in 2007-2008, Perkins stepped his game up in the 2008-2009 season. He increased his scoring to 8.5 points, his rebounding to 8.1, and his shot-blocking to a career high 2.0 per game (ranking sixth in the NBA). While the Celtics fell in the second round of the playoffs, Perkins was a postseason beast, averaging a double-double with 11.9 points and 11.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks in the playoffs.
Come the 2009-2010 season, Perkins inherited an increased role in the Celtics’ offense. He has averaged a career high 10.1 points on a 60.2 field goal percentage which ranks second in the NBA. He adds 7.6 rebounds and ranked among the top ten in shot blocking with 1.7 per game. Perkins’s name was even circulated as a possible 2010 All-Star and is an All-Defensive team candidate.