Kendrick Perkins eyeing NBA return after sitting out in 2016-17

March 22, 2016: New Orleans Pelicans center Kendrick Perkins (5) shoots against Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) during the NBA game between the Miami Heat and the New Orleans Pelicans at the Smoothie King Center in New Orleans, LA. (Photograph by Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire)
Stephen Lew/Icon Sportswire

It appears as though veteran NBA center Kendrick Perkins is eyeing a return to the highest level after notably sitting out for all of last season. Perkins recently stated that he has been attempting to get back into playing shape while keeping his hopes up that a team from around the league will invite him to training camp this summer.

“I’ve been keeping my weight down, making sure I’m getting all the cardio I need, staying in great shape,” Perkins said, via the Boston Globe. “I’m just going to do what I can. I feel good. I’ve been on top of my basketball work and I’m just waiting for my opportunity, [if it] happens. I’ve just changed my diet, working on my quickness, and just trying to get better. It’s 30 teams out there and I’m just looking for one opportunity. It will come. I’m just trying to leave it in God’s hands.”

The 32-year-old big man originally broke into the league back in 2003-04 as a member of the Boston Celtics. After spending his first seven-plus seasons in Boston, he then suited up for the Oklahoma City Thunder, Cleveland Cavaliers and New Orleans Pelicans between 2010-11 and 2015-16.

In what initially appeared to be his final go-round as a NBA center, Perkins averaged 2.5 points, 3.5 rebounds, 0.8 assists and 0.3 blocks per game for the Pelicans in 2015-16. Making 37 regular-season appearances for the club, he also averaged just 14.6 minutes per outing. For his NBA career, Perkins is currently averaging 5.4 points, 5.8 rebounds, an even one assist and 1.2 blocks per contest.

“You’re sitting back, waiting on a job, you want in and not just sitting around the house,” he added. “I wasn’t ready for that in that point in my life. I think it was a very humbling situation for me. I thought it made me realize the importance and not to take it for granted.”

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