Sam Presti has the NBA right where he wants them thanks to OKC Thunder early season success

Sam Presti has the NBA World on their toes heading into NBA Trade season.
Thunder general manager Sam Presti joined the Spurs in 2000.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti joined the Spurs in 2000. thun / SARAH PHIPPS/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY

The Oklahoma City Thunder have taken the league by storm with a 17-8 record, good enough for 2nd in the Western Conference. The Thunder are 6-4 in their last ten games, with a 9-4 record at home and an 8-4 record on the road.

This is yet another surprise season for the Thunder. A year ago, despite losing the lone top-five pick of their rebuild due to injury for the entire campaign, OKC rattled off 40 wins en route to the postseason. Finishing in the NBA Play-In Tournament, the anticipation for this season was high, but expectations were still tempered.

"We have to finish our Breakfast," Thunder General Manager Sam Presti reminded the NBA world as the organization finished two games below .500 a year ago.

Now, still with one of the youngest rosters in the NBA, the Oklahoma City Thunder are breaking a lot of NBA Norms.

A team this young is not supposed to be an instant success, currently sitting in the top 10 in the NBA in offensive, defensive, and net rating. Balancing winning on the road and taking care of business at home while finding clutch time success (9-6) despite their inexperience.

While many still cling to Sam Presti's breakfast lecture, there is a growing pocket of the Thunder fanbase that looks around and asks, 'Why not us?'

At each turn, those of us who sit here and preach patience could be accused of underestimating this team, which exceeds what the NBA expects from them at every turn.

Enter the 2024 NBA Trade Deadline—the next checkpoint on the list for this Thunder core. Given the assets Sam Presti has at his disposal and the quality of the team this has already proven to be, there will be no shortage of rumors around the Thunder and the NBA's trade market.

"Sam Presti has come out publicly and said, 'We are not going to be in a rush; we are still eating our breakfast.'...I have heard several people say to me that is the exact opposite of what they are going to do." NBA Insider for Yahoo! Sports Jake Fischer told Sirius XM's NBA Radio.

As Sam Presti and the organization continue to preach patience, the Thunder have the NBA world right where they want it.

Would it stun you if the Oklahoma City Thunder pulled off a blockbuster trade that sent such shockwaves through the NBA that it resurrected the old video story? Absolutely not; look no further than the Paul George trade out of nowhere.

Would you just be beside yourself perplexed if the biggest move the Thunder end up doing is dumping off Aleksej Pokusevski Darius Bazley style? Absolutely not.

The ability to be unpredictable is what Sam Presti has historically thrived in. While those of us on the local beat can continue to give you the company and the National beat can shell out what the other 29 organizations are speculating about the Thunder, the bottom line is: No one truly knows. Just the way Presti likes it.

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