UPDATE: Darnell Mayberry tweeted that it’s “unlikely” we see Perkins Friday. “It’s unlikely he plays tomorrow against the Pistons. Today was his first practice with the Thunder. The team will ease him in.”
Normally it’s not news when Byron Mullens is assigned to the Tulsa 66ers or recalled back to the Thunder. Because it happens like 200 times a season.
But this time, there potentially could be something to it.
Kendrick Perkins participated in his first full practice Thursday, telling reporters, “It went OK. I’d probably give myself a 6 on a scale of 1 to 10. I was a little rusty in some spots but it went real well.”
Friday will mark almost two weeks exactly since Perkins was ruled out for two-to-three weeks by the Thunder to rest a sprained right knee.
Mullens has been active the past few games after Nate Robinson underwent arthroscopic knee surgery. An NBA team can have 12 active players in uniform, and if Perkins were to return, Mullens would go back to sitting in a suit. So the reasoning here is, like all the other times, the Thunder wants Mullens at least playing in a uniform rather than sitting, which would mean someone would be activated to take his spot.
We’ll have to wait and see until after shootaround Friday morning and then leading up to the game. But I’m sure the Thunder would like for Perkins first appearance to come in Oklahoma City so he can be properly welcomed to the floor. And after Friday, the Thunder doesn’t return home for another week.
If he’s ready, he could certainly see a little time. Brooks never committed to saying Perkins would start right away, but 10-15 minutes of burn could be in the cards for Friday.