The Pelicans are nearing an agreement with center Kendrick Perkins, league sources informed The Advocate on Wednesday afternoon.
While negotiations aren’t yet complete, the two sides are close to ironing out a contract that would send the 12-year veteran to New Orleans on a free-agent deal.
Sources confirmed the one-year deal would be at the league minimum.
The 30-year-old spent eight seasons in Boston and helped the Celtics win the 2008 NBA Finals as its starting center. He then spent the next four seasons in Oklahoma City on the Thunder’s playoff teams before being traded midway through the year to the Cleveland Cavaliers.
Perkins gained a reputation for defensive toughness and locker-room presence, even as his offensive skills and minutes dipped over the past few years. He started in all of his 205 appearances with the Thunder between 2011 and 2014 but was moved to the bench last year.
If the contract comes to fruition, he will be the Pelicans’ third center signed as an unrestricted free agent this offsesason, joining Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca, who were both retained by General Manager Dell Demps.
Perkins’ addition likely means the Pelicans are parting ways with free agent center Jeff Withey. His qualifying offer, which was initially extended and made him a restricted free agent, was rescinded earlier this month.