OKC Thunder GM Sam Presti is the right fit for this rebuild

Sam Presti, OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Sam Presti, OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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OKC Thunder
Oklahoma City Thunder 2010 (Copyright 2010 NBAE Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Sam Presti always has a few tricks up his sleeve when it comes to wheeling and dealing.

We have already discussed Sam Presti’s big moves in Seattle, now let’s look at his Oklahoma City trade track record.

The OKC Thunder traded for Thabo Sefolosha who played a vital role in the Thunder’s success, as well as made a trade for Tyson Chandler before the big man who played in Oklahoma City while the city hosted the Hornets failed his physical.

Fast forward to 2012, just before the 2012-13 season started, Sam Presti pulled off his first of many stunning out of nowhere moves. He traded future hall of famer and future MVP James Harden to the Houston Rockets for Steven Adams, Kevin Martin, and Jeremy Lamb.

Presti turned an expiring contract in power forward Serge Ibaka into Victor Oladipo and Ersan Ilyasova as well as Domantas Sabonis. A future all-star, a sixth man of the year candidate, and a streaky three-point shooter for an expiring contract is a good haul. It gets even better when you follow the trail and see who the Thunder turned those assets into.

Then, after losing Kevin Durant, he traded Victor Olidipo and Domantas Sabonis for Indiana Pacers star Paul George a move no one thought the OKC Thunder could pull off. Following that, Presti grabbed another disgruntled star in Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks for a package around Enes Kanter and Doug McDermott.

When that failed, Presti dealt Melo for a valuable back up point guard in Dennis Schroder.

And finally, the Thunder were able to deal Paul George to the Clippers for a historic haul to jump-start their rebuild, while having the brilliance to absolutely playing L.A. by having disingenuous trade talks with the Toronto Raptors to make the Clippers bid against themselves, and become even more desperate.

Related Story. Paul George dealt to Clippers. light

The Paul George trade was centered around five draft picks, a few pick swaps, and Shai Gilgeous-Alexander a young point guard that looks to have All-Star potential. Clearly, a haul to jumpstart a rebuild.

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And those are the big trades, there are other smaller scale deals which are equally important. Presti acquired Taj Gibson for the franchise’s biggest bust, Cameron Payne in order to boost the team during Westbrook’s MVP season.

Or trading for Jerami Grant who turned into a great starter for the franchise and possibly a building block with still room to grow depending on what Grant wants to do after his contract.

Sam Presti has shown an ability to buy and sell assets with the best of them, even when people in the media, as well as fans, do not think guys like Victor Olidapo and Sabonis are enough to get into the Paul George game. Or that a star demanding a trade gives you no leverage only for Presti to pull off the biggest draft pick haul in NBA history.