Thunder GM Sam Presti: Phil Jackson coaching rumors ‘rubbish’

Oklahoma City Thunder head coach Scott Brooks’ contract is up at the end of this month. Thunder GM Sam Presti fully intends to work out an extension to keep Brooks.

“As we’ve said before, Scotty is an integral part of our organization and critical to our success,” Presti said. “And we value him greatly. We’re looking forward to having those conversations, as he said, in the coming days. But he’s been integral to our success. We wouldn’t be in the situation that we’re in without him and his commitment to the organization and to our players.”

Presit was asked about the rumors from earlier this week that the Thunder would pursue Phil Jackson or Jeff Van Gundy if they couldn’t work it out with Brooks.

“To me, it’s rubbish,” Presti said.

Brooks will more than likely get an extension in the next few days. Sources said that Brooks wanted a deal with four years guaranteed and the Thunder would rather give him just two or three.

Presti and the Thunder organization are committed to what they have right now from the players to the coaching staff. They came close this year to winning the title and they feel no need to shake things up too much to improve their chances of getting back to the Finals.

The NBA Draft is this Thursday and the Thunder hold the 28th pick. It has been thought that they would rather move the pick then draft a player they’d have to pay for the next few seasons, especially when priority No. 1 is to do everything possible to keep James Harden and Serge Ibaka.

“We have the 28th pick, and we’re going to look to see what’s there that we might be able to add to our team, whether it’s now or in the future,” Presti said. “I wouldn’t say that we’re looking to move our draft pick. I’ve read that some places. If there’s a player on the board that we feel like fits our organization, fits our identity, we’ll draft him. If we feel like there’s a better way to use the draft pick, then we’ll look at that.”

The Thunder are unlikely to draft a player that late in the first round that is able to contribute significantly by next season.

There is some potential with a few players that will be available around those rounds, mostly players who stayed in college for three or four seasons.

The Thunder organization has been compared to San Antonio who became a dynasty largely due to their savvy draft choices late in the first round and in the second round. That is one of the next steps for this Thunder franchise to become a dynasty.

Presti isn’t calling the Thunder a dynasty yet, they surely need to win one title before they can be crowned that, but Harden used the word a few times during his exit interview.

“I didn’t realize James was such an aficionado of 80s television,” Presti said of Harden.

Topics: Contract, James Harden, NBA Draft, Oklahoma City Thunder, Phil Jackson, Sam Presti, Scott Brooks, Serge Ibaka, Thunder GM

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