Shai Gilgeous-Alexander trade and 13 other genius Thunder moves Sam Presti nailed

Sam Presti and the Thunder absolutely nailed these moves.

Oklahoma City Thunder, Sam Presti
Oklahoma City Thunder, Sam Presti / BRYAN TERRY/THE OKLAHOMAN / USA TODAY
facebooktwitterreddit
Prev
13 of 14
Next

2. Drafting Kevin Durant

The Thunder had some lottery luck in 2007 as they jumped from fifth to second overall. There was tons of debate about who should go number one between Greg Oden and Durant. There were questions about Durant’s frame and unique skill set. Portland selected Oden and had no regrets getting a more traditional big man.

Presti’s first draft pick was his best. Durant is a 14-time All-Star and one of the best players in NBA history. He won MVP in 2014 and two Finals MVPs. The 6’11 big man is an elite shooter and scorer who is unstoppable on the floor. Durant’s team has been a contender virtually every year, and no team wants to face him in the playoffs.

Durant left Oklahoma City to join the Warriors in 2016. The Thunder knew it was a possibility and could have traded the all-time great, but they clung to the hope he would re-sign. KD explained why he left, and the opportunity to join the best team in the world was just too sweet to pass up.

The Oklahoma City Thunder do not make the NBA Finals in 2012 without Kevin Durant. No other player in that class can compare to KD’s career. Sam Presti nailed his first draft pick and quickly set his franchise up to contend. Drafting an all-time great was still not his best move.