In the 2010 NBA Draft, the Brooklyn Nets selected Tibor Pleiss with the 31st overall pick. On draft day, Sam Presti made a deal with New Jersey, which led to the Thunder buying the right to the German center.
This was a “draft and stash” move for Presti, and one that could pay off one day.
The 7″‘ 1′ big man spent this year in the ACB league in Spain, averaging 12.7 points and about six rebounds a game.
There were some rumors of Pleiss finally coming to Oklahoma City for the 2014-2015 season, but it seems like that’s a no go per a report by Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo! Sports:
The Oklahoma City Thunder tried to reach a deal that would’ve allowed 7-foot-1 Tibor Pleiss to join the NBA this season, but the buyout provision on his European deal remained too prohibitive, league sources told Yahoo Sports.
Pleiss, 24, was the 31st overall pick of the 2010 NBA draft and has developed into one of Europe’s better center prospects. Thunder officials knew bringing Pleiss to the NBA this season was something of a long shot, but made a bid based on the fact that Pleiss had shown an inclination to leave Laboral Vitoria of the Spanish ACB this season if a contract agreement could be reached, sources said.
Nevertheless, the buyout clause of approximately $1 million on Pleiss’ Laboral contract made the move too difficult, and Laboral cut a deal for Pleiss to sign with FC Barcelona for the 2014-15 season. Oklahoma City’s plan had been to focus on bringing Pleiss to the NBA in the 2015-16 season, and that still remains the most likely scenario, sources said.
Hopefully, we will be seeing Pleiss in a Thunder uniform in the 2015-2016 season, as it’s seemed like forever since the Thunder drafted the guy.
Nonetheless, how smart would Presti look if Pleiss was a dominant big in this league?