OKC is 88-23 since the Perkins/Green trade. That winning percentage averages out to a 65 win season. Boston is 75-53 since trading Perkins. That comes out to a 48 win season. 36-26 with Green playing, which would be a 47 wins season. Boston is equally mediocre with or without green since Perk's departure.
One can argue that OKC's remarkable record is due to the Thunder not having the wimpy Jeff Green playing big minutes, or it's because their two stars are so dominant, but Perk has to get some credit for balancing this roster and adding leadership and toughness.
To me, wins and losses is what the NBA is all about. The Thunder have won big with Perk. He's a role player, but one that great teams need - someone to do the dirty work and someone to bring toughness to the court every night.
Perk isn't a big rebounder, but he is very good at boxing out. Perk isn't a good offensive player, but he's very good at setting picks so the good players can get easy shots. When you have two mega-stars like Westy and KD, that's what you need from one of your complementary players. Perk's physicality also allows the lithe Ibaka to do his thing without burdening him to do a lot of the boxing out and mucking up in the lane - something Perk did here for KG.
I'll take Perk on my team any day, even if he's making $8m a year. I don't care if he shoots a FT line airball. Big deal.
Howard put up some numbers on the Thunder last night, but was a -4 when on the court, and the Lakers lost (again). OKC bigs were outscored by Laker bigs by only 4 points.
Perk was never a guy that was going to start suddenly tearing up the box score, but he does tons of the little things that help good teams become great teams. Not to mention that nasty streak he has. Perk is an intangibles guy.
I've watched a lot of OKC for the past few years, and he's taken on a leadership role with those guys - he's taken on the responsibility of being the main communicator defensively for them. Ibaka gets a lot of the defensive praise because he puts up a ton of blocks, but Perk is the guy calling out rotations.
Honestly, sometimes I wish we could take Perk's mindset and demeanor and put it into Jeff Green's body. Jeff is the complete opposite of Perk - a guy who really has the physical/athletic ability and skill set to be a special player in this league, but doesn't do the little things or have "the fire in the belly".