OKC Thunder Preseason Previsions: Why Sam Presti can win Executive of Year Award

Sam Presti, OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Presti, OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

The race for 2019 Executive of the Year will be tight, but, OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti built a strong case. The question is will it be enough to bring home the hardware?

Sam Presti has been an NBA general manager for 11 years, spending his first year on the job with the Seattle SuperSonics, before the team relocated to Oklahoma City and became the OKC Thunder. While at the head of the helm Presti has made copious transactions, according to RealGM Presti has made 46 trades and selected 18 draft picks.

One thing Presti has not accomplished is winning Executive of the Year (EOY), perhaps this will be Sam’s year. The race for EOY will be tight, because Magic Johnson will surely be in the race, having signed LeBron James, along with perennial candidates Danny Ainge of the Celtics, Bob Meyers of the Warriors, and RC Bufford of the Spurs. Least we forget, dark horse candidate Masai Ujiri of the Raptors, who traded for Kawhi Leonard.

NBA Winners Table
2017-18NBADaryl MoreyHOU826517.793
2016-17NBABob MyersGSW826715.817
2015-16NBAR.C. BufordSAS826715.817
2014-15NBABob MyersGSW826715.817
2013-14NBAR.C. BufordSAS826220.756

Provided by Basketball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 9/11/2018. 

The previous five winners teams have won a minimum of 65 games, with four teams winning 67 games. Which, sheds light on what is expected from the EOY’s constructed roster on the court. As of September 10, the Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook pegged the OKC Thunder to win 50 games.

Vegas’ projection of 50 wins for OKC is 12 wins behind the Warriors 62 projected wins and 15 wins behind the Rockets 65 wins last season. Therefore, in order for Presti to win EOY, the OKC Thunder must outperform their Westgate win projection, or Presti’s chances of winning will greatly diminish.

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Presti’s Savvy Moves

The transactions involving George, Grant, and Anthony alone could have landed Presti in the EOY conversation. Taking into account the full spectrum of moves Presti made he should be considered the preseason front-runner for the award.

In closing, Sam Presti appears to have assembled a much deeper and more cohesive unit for the 2018-19 season. The Thunder’s new-look roster will hit the competitive hardwood for the initial  time on October 3, for their first of four preseason games.

Oklahoma City’s first preseason game will not only mark the beginning of the team’s new campaign. The game will also commence Presti’s personal crusade to become Executive of the Year.

Next. Offseason report card – Grading every Sam Presti move. dark

What do you think Presti’s chances are of winning EOY? Who is his primary competition? Share your thoughts in the comment sectin.