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How Sam Presti continues to slowly build an empire

RedsArmyAdmin December 23, 2009 Uncategorized 4 Comments

Sam presti At a time where most General Managers feel pressure to make big, splashy moves in order to save their jobs… Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti continues to do little things to slowly build a team that will not only win… but be a winner for a while.

The latest step in the progression was a deal that didn't exactly make waves across the NBA.

The Thunder got Eric Maynor, the 20th pick in this year's NBA draft, and Matt Harpring in exchange for 2002 second-round pick Peter Fehse.

John Hollinger has a great explanation about why this is a great deal for OKC.

some subtle aspects of this deal make it particularly juicy for the
Thunder. Harpring makes $6.5 million this year, but Oklahoma City is on
the hook for only $1.78 million while insurance will cover the rest.
And since Harpring has an expiring contract, the deal won't cut into
their projected $10 million-plus in cap space next summer. Finally, the
Thunder can trade Harpring again if they so choose, either alone or as
part of a package: Teams under the cap aren't bound by the league's
two-month rule on re-packaging acquired players.



Utah effectively donated Maynor to Oklahoma City because of the
mind-boggling financial savings. The Jazz retain more than $10.46
million by removing $7.8 million in luxury tax payments, another
$884,452 for Maynor's salary the rest of this year, and $1.78 million
in payments to Harpring that wouldn't have been covered by insurance.
The trade also opens the door for the Jazz to eventually slip under the
luxury tax threshold entirely – they're  now only $4.8 million over.

Maynor is looking to be a solid back-up for Russell Westbrook… which is something the Thunder needed.  Harpring will never play and he suddenly becomes a trade-able commodity.  

So the Thunder addressed a weakness at virtually zero cost to them.  They picked up a piece that they can either dangle in another trade right away… or just let go for more salary cap flexibility.  In the meantime, they're 13-14 in the super-competitive western conference and just 2 1/2 games out of the 8th playoff spot… currently held by a Jazz team that seems to be more focused on reshaping its team rather than pushing for the playoffs. 

OKC might not make the playoffs this year… but they're going to be one of the teams knocking on the door.  They've got a superstar in Kevin Durant, a budding under-the-radar type star in Jeff Green, and all but 2 players on their roster have more than 5 years of NBA experience.  Plus, they've got enough money to make a big move if they want to this summer.

A lot of GM's are trying to build McMansions… but Sam Presti is building a home on a solid foundation.  In a year or two, we're going to start hearing about the Thunder as contenders… because it's a team being built the right way.

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  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115709edd57970b G4L

    This has nothing to do with this article!!
    But I Freaking won the “Starting 5 Sweeps” from tickets for Charity!!!! WOOOOOHHHH!!
    Here I come Hawks!!

  • thetitleisours

    Love it when Faker fans try and compare our acquisitions with the joke that was Gasol
    In Ray Allen we gave up Jeff Green and Al Jeff for KG
    We got the better deals for now, but not the joke that was the Gasol trade

  • http://profile.typepad.com/6p0115704263ce970b Papa Irish

    but luck has a whole lot to do with his success, if the nba didnt have a ridiculous lottery system in place he would not have been able to get durant which is the primary reason they will be contenders for years to come
    also if kevin durant doesnt inexplicably fall to two behind and injury prone oden the thunder would look a whole lot different
    but i do agree that he has done an excellent job capitalizing on the luck he has been dealt, something very few GMs are capable of doing
    you can also argue that if he would have taken brooks lopez and joakim noah instead of jeff green and russell westbrook they would be a legit championship contender

  • http://profile.typepad.com/redsarmy Red’s Army

    HAH!!!! HOLY SHIT!!!!
    Awesome dude! I’m so psyched that a Red’s Army reader… an HOF’er no less… won the tix.
    Fucking awesome