In the news: OKC Thunder Fans Presti head hunting, Draft combine news

BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 17: Luka Doncic, #7 of Real Madrid during the 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague F4 Real Madrid Official Practice at Stark Arena on May 17, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Luca Sgamellotti/EB via Getty Images)
BELGRADE, SERBIA - MAY 17: Luka Doncic, #7 of Real Madrid during the 2018 Turkish Airlines EuroLeague F4 Real Madrid Official Practice at Stark Arena on May 17, 2018 in Belgrade, Serbia. (Photo by Luca Sgamellotti/EB via Getty Images) /

The OKC Thunder brass joined all teams attending the draft combine, but closer to home fans are seeking Sam Presti’s head.

Since the onset of the season games tipped off every day except Christmas Eve, the All-Star Break, March 2 and the two day break leading into the playoffs. Therefore two consecutive days without ball feels almost sacrilegious. Fortunately there is plenty of activity to focus on for the OKC Thunder including the 2018 NBA Draft Combine.

Modern day version of  ‘Off with his head‘:

Clearly Sam Presti is on hand with his team to view the prospects and conduct interviews. Closer to home however the fanbase is getting a bit antsy. With the onslaught of “trade Westbrook” articles, uncertainty of Paul George recommitting and Carmelo Anthony‘s albatross of a salary looming Presti is on the hot seat.

Moreover, if George does return there are rumblings he may not be worth a max contract. Hedging those bets and Anthony opting in could make the OKC Thunder the most expensive team in NBA history. This given the luxury tax would boost the team salary into the unprecedented $300 million territory. Not exactly the price a small town market would normally be associated with .

Barry Tramel of NewsOk elucidates on the Sam Presti critics with a compelling argument and answered a number of other questions. His article is a must read for the OKC Thunder  faithful.

NBA Draft Combine:

Michael Porter Jr.

Some pretty interesting news is coming out of the combine. This includes sightings of Giannis chatting with analysts about his brother Kostas who is attending the combine.

Also in the news presumed lottery pick Michael Porter Jr. who spoke about his recovered back following surgery. Asked if the injury hadn’t occurred where he would rank the confident Porter stated he’d be the top guy. ESPN writer Nick Friedell offers an intriguing look at the big man.

"“I know without a doubt that I’m the — I played against all these guys, they’re all great players — but I’m the best player in this draft,” Porter said. “And I just can’t wait to show what I’m capable of.” – Porter"

The ESPN article goes on to state the OKC Thunder are one of the teams planning to meet with Porter.

"Porter says he has already had meetings with the New York Knicks, Dallas Mavericks, Philadelphia 76ers, Phoenix Suns, Cleveland Cavaliers, Atlanta Hawks, Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets and LA Clippers. He is scheduled to meet with the Sacramento Kings, Charlotte Hornets, Oklahoma City Thunder and Boston Celtics on Friday, with other meetings potentially occurring in the next few weeks."

This marries with The Athletic writer Michael Scotto presuming the OKC Thunder may try to buy into the first round of the draft.

"Keep an eye on the Oklahoma City Thunder and Toronto Raptors as teams looking to move into the first round of the draft. Oklahoma City loves young, controllable assets and the Raptors have done well developing young talent on their bench such as Fred VanVleet, OG Anunoby, Jakob Poeltl and Pascal Siakam."

Well, that and the fact a rookie would be a manageable contract given the salary situation the OKC Thunder will be in next season.

Luka Doncic sparks frenzy over where he’ll play next season:

Yet, the biggest news may be potential number one pick Luka Doncic stating he might stay in Spain regardless of what occurs at the draft.  Sports Illustrated Scooby Axton provides the quote Doncic offered regarding joining the NBA. Before everyone freaks out thinking this might affect the talented 19 year old Slovenian coming to the USA there is a logical answer here fans.

"“Ι’m not sure if these are my last two games [in EuroLeague]. We have yet to make this decision. Perhaps after the season,” Doncic said, via"

Consider an equivalent situation for an existing NBA player. Let’s say Kevin Durant is at the post game podium and is asked where he’s signing this summer. Since he’s still embroiled in the Conference Finals he’d likely respond “I’m not even thinking about that”. In essence, this is what Doncic’s comment amounts to. Since his team is still competing he’s invested in that action.  As Axton goes on to clarify Doncic’s Real Madrid team is competing in their equivalent to the Final Four.

"Real Madrid is in the Euroleague Final Four, which ends with the championship game on May 20."

The Draft Combine continues today with more five on five scrimmages. ESPN2 will carry portions of the combine from 3:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. ET (2:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. CT).

That’s it for in the news today. Make sure to stop by Thunderous Intentions daily as the writing team keeps you in the loop for all things OKC Thunder. Today TI continues to roll out the player season reviews. Have a great day!