It's odd to hear someone dub Kendrick Perkins a "young" player given this is his sixth NBA season, but consider this: Celtics rookie guard Lester Hudson is three months older than Perkins. It's practically unfathomable.
Which is why you can't argue with Perkins popping up on John Hollinger's list of the top 12 young big men in the NBA. You'll need ESPN Insider access to read the whole list, but we'll give you Hollinger's skinny on Perkins, who was ranked eighth (ahead of players like Andrew Bogut and Greg Oden).
The classic "dirty work" guy, Perkins, 25, rates among the best low-post defenders in basketball and is quite possibly the best screener in the game. He picks up offensive fouls crushing opponents on picks, but otherwise he's a low-mistake offensive player with an improving post game. This season he leads the league in shooting percentage at 65.1 percent and has added nearly six points to his 2008-09 40-minute scoring rate of 11.5, a whopping increase that is one of the less-trumpeted reasons behind Boston's early-season success.