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Report: Jazz expected to buy out Kendrick Perkins; Cavs, Bulls and Clippers interested

Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins Read To Achieve

Oklahoma City Thunder Kevin Durant and Kendrick Perkins Read To Achieve

NBAE/Getty Images

Now that the trade deadline is done, buyout season begins in earnest. One of the strongest candidates to get bought out and join a contender is former Thunder center Kendrick Perkins, who was traded to the Jazz as part of a three-way deal that sent Enes Kanter to Oklahoma City and Reggie Jackson to Detroit. The rebuilding Jazz don’t have much use for Perkins, even as an expiring, but Yahoo’s Adrian Wojnarowski is hearing that a couple of other teams do.

The Cavaliers and Clippers are strong contenders to sign Kendrick Perkins once buyout is done with Jazz, league sources tell Yahoo.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 19, 2015

The Chicago Bulls are a VERY significant contender for Kendrick Perkins too, league sources tell Yahoo Sports.

— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojYahooNBA) February 19, 2015

It’s tough to see where Perkins would get minutes in Cleveland. They just traded for the much younger and better Timofey Mozgov and already have a frontcourt rotation that includes Mozgov, Kevin Love and Tristan Thompson, plus some smaller lineups that feature LeBron James at the four. Even Brendan Haywood is probably more useful than Perkins at this point.

The Bulls are also not a logical fit, even though head coach Tom Thibodeau was an assistant on the Celtics team that won the title with Perkins in 2008. They already have a crowded frontcourt rotation with Joakim Noah, Pau Gasol, Taj Gibson and Nikola Mirotic. Adding someone else to that mix doesn’t make any sense, especially with Perkins’ limited skill set replicating Nazr Mohammed, the end-of-bench big the Bulls already have. If they are looking at the buyout market, a wing like Gary Neal would be a better move. Plus, Perkins and Noah don’t like each other.

The Clippers pursuing Perkins, meanwhile, is the most obvious thing in the world. Doc Rivers and Perkins go back to the Celtics’ 2008 title run, and Rivers still hasn’t gotten over his fixation with players who were valuable in the late 2000s. This is a roster that already features Glen Davis (also a member of that 2008 championship team), Hedo Turkoglu and Dahntay Jones. Perkins doesn’t have much value in 2015 beyond setting some hard screens and picking up some hard fouls, but Rivers loves his veterans. Don’t be surprised if this happens.

As limited as Perkins is as a player now, he was a beloved teammate in Boston and Oklahoma City, and contenders looking for veteran experience could do worse than adding him to the locker room. But that’s about it.