Lessons Sam Presti can learn from counterparts in Thunder rebuild

OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook and general manager Sam Presti (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
OKC Thunder: Russell Westbrook and general manager Sam Presti (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /
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Sam Presti, OKC Thunder
Sam Presti, OKC Thunder (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Presti must do his homework and ace the tests:

Granted, much will depend on how the brain trust moves forward. General Manager, Sam Presti has demonstrated the ability to draft well at times and to pull off big move trades. In both cases, he’s had hits and misses. For the OKC to avoid spending a decade in lottery purgatory he’ll need to excel in both categories.

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The other factor which will play a huge role in this rebuilding phase is the reliance on the coaches and specifically on the development team. Quin Snyder and his staff are among the best at player development. Snyder also has a long record of getting vets to improve in the later stages of their careers.

Likewise, the Blazers Terry Stotts has demonstrated the ability to quickly develop his young assets with each of Jusuf Nurkic, Rodney Hood and even Enes Kanter standing out as players who witnessed palpable growth under his leadership.

In regards to this latter point, Thunderous Intentions will dive into the Billy Donovan dynamic in a separate article. For now, let’s just say perhaps a young squad will allow Donovan a better chance to showcase his best work given his college background.

In the aftermath of  Paul George‘s trade request and subsequently Russ wanting to move to a contender their thank you messages may offer insights to potential internal issues. Both thanked Sam Presti and owner Clay Bennett and of course their teammates and the fanbase. But, the curious exclusion was Billy Donovan. Westbrook did cite “my coaches” but neither he or George singled out BillyD.

No one can know for sure if this was an issue as there weren’t any leaks of discontent or on court “situations” to point to. Still, it seems odd neither superstar singled him out in their farewell messages.

One thing is certain if Donovan doesn’t excel this season, and I don’t mean in terms of the win/loss column but in the development and growth of the youth then it will be hard for Presti to extend him past this season.

Next. Thank you, Russell Westbrook; a trip down memory lane. dark

So, there you have 29 opponents each with palpable lessons Sam Presti can glean valuable lessons from in order to best navigate this next stage for the franchise.