Perk will be a free agent after this season. It seems as though Danny should be working on an extension now to try to lock him up. Good centers are hard to come by and after this season, I am sure some team will pay him quite a bit.
Perk is entering his 4th season. He got approximately 35 minutes playing time his entire first season and played in only 10 games. In spite of only playing 3 minutes per game, he averaged 1.4 rpg along with 2.2 ppg. But that season wasn't wasted, he spent his time in the weight room getting into the best shape possible.
In his second year, he played in 60 games and averaged 9 mpg. His rebounds increased to 2.9 rpg and 2.5 ppg and continued to work on his strength and conditioning.
Last year he finally got some more playing time after Blount was traded. He played in 68 games and averaged 19 mpg. His rebounding increased to 5.9 rpg along with 5.2 ppg and 1.5 bpg. He rarely got starters minutes and even after Blount left, Raef got most of the minutes at center. But when he got extended minutes, he produced.
This shows a pattern of steady and continued improvement. His goal this summer was to work on his offense. I imagine that his shot will be more accurate this summer and that he will once again increase his rebounding and blocks as well, especially with time to work with Clifford Ray this summer.
All this is to say that Perk is developing into what should be a very, very good center. He is developing faster than Jermaine O'Neal did, and O'Neal is considered one of the top players at this position. I can see Perk becoming one of the top centers within one or two more years. If Perk is allowed to become a free agent, he will get some very good offers from other teams.
Consider the fact that Nene got an extension worth 60 million over 6 years. Nene has averaged almost 30 mpg over the 3 seasons he played and in 04-05, his 3rd season, he averaged 5.9 rpg, .87 bpg and 9.6 ppg. With double the playing time, he really didn't have numbers much better than Perk. Yet, he got a 10 mil a year extension.
Chris Wilcox just signed a 3 year 24 million dollar contract. Wilcox just completed his 4th year in the league and last year averaged 5.3 rpg, .44 bpg and 8.1 ppg in 20 mpg. Again, not much better than Perk.
My point is that centers are paid well because good centers are hard to come by. In my opinion, Perk's extension should have been just as important as Pierce's extension. He should be worth at least 6-8 million a year as he will get that from most other teams out there. Perk should get starters minutes for the first time in his career this season (unless Doc is a complete moron) and I fully expect him to have a break out season. If he does, the 6-8 million he might ask for now, would be a real bargain. Danny needs to get the extension done quickly before we lose him to a team who is willing to pay him what he is worth, or at least before everyone realizes what he is worth.
You know, it is interesting that Ainge has not given Perk a new contract. I may not be the biggest Perk fan in the world, but I do think he's going to be a good Center for the next 10 years and that in itself should be enough to get him a new contract. We are in no position to be losing quality big men, especially young ones who can be with us for another decade. All these years, we've been looking to shore up our frontcourt, and now we are developing some nice looking prospects and Ainge isn't jumping at the chance to secure them. Not many young guys have his work ethic or his business-like demeanor on the court. He's a terrific example to follow (and I think Al is beginning to understand this)
But all in all, I think Perk is a loyal guy and I don't see him testing free agency. I think Ainge will offer a reasonable contract and as long as its not a slap to Perk's face, Perkins will agree to it.