John Rohde’s impressions: “Exactly where does the Thunder stand in the free-agent market? Who is the Thunder eying, and at what cost? NBA teams are allowed to talk to eligible players and their agents beginning July 1. Thunder general manager Sam Presti is likely to come down with cauliflower ear due to overuse of his cell phone. Presti suffers from NBAOCD — National Basketball Association Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder — which I mean in the nicest way possible. “Everybody, for the most part, is talking to everybody. It’s part of the process,” Presti said during his 34-minute news conference Monday.”
One quote I found interesting: “We understand through a natural progression that our payroll is going to rise. That’s part of the reason we’ve taken a disciplined approach to this point. This business is about some long-range planning that has to go into this. It can’t always be about a short-term fix without cause for concern moving forward. As we get to those points, we’ve tried to create flexibility so we can continue to add to our team. We’re not there, yet. But I know our ownership group is committed to winning and excited by the fact we have room to grow. We’re not trying to add a whole lot of bells and whistles. We can’t let emotion drive our decisions. We haven’t done that in the past in times of adversity, and I don’t see us letting that happen this summer coming off a season where we’ve had a step in the right direction.”
Reading between the lines, it sounds like the Thunder may not be that interested in the BIG free agent market. Presti saying, “We’re not trying to add a whole lot of bells and whistles,” obviously leads one to thinking that the cap space will likely be reserved to retain players and to make moves that complement the core and subtlely improve the roster.
Steve Kyler of HoopsWorld: “There is no questioning that fact that Oklahoma City surprised a large number of NBA fans in how quickly they have become a quality team in the Western Conference. As the Thunder’s GM Sam Presti addressed the media yesterday in his season wrap-up press conference there were a few phrases that jump out at you, and while the words were fresh, the concepts were not. Discipline and persistence.
The top 10 plays from the first round. But there’s a mistake. Somehow, someway, Russell Westbrook’s cram over Lamar Odom wasn’t included. You’re telling me a tip-in and a deep 3 by Jameer Nelson were better than that?
I stumbled across Jeff Green’s Rivals recruiting page when he was in high school and I just had to draw attention to it. I mean, look at that.
The NCAA changed a rule that has affected NBA scouting: “In previous years, candidates could submit their names and go through pre-draft camps and individual workouts with organizations before making a decision. In doing so, they could get more-informed opinions about whether they should stay in the draft pool or return to school for another season of conditioning and growth at the NCAA level. But now, early entries must decide by Saturday — more than a month earlier than when they would have had to decide in past years. And though the NBA is keeping its deadline in place, which allows all players up until 10 days before the June 24 draft to withdraw, the NCAA’s new deadline renders the pro league’s date meaningless for college players. International players, however, still have until June 14 to make a decision.”