The big question on every NBA fan’s minds throughout the NBA season was, “Where is LeBron James headed this offseason?”
But there was also another pretty big question on NBA fan’s minds, that one being, “Where is Paul George going to sign this offseason?” The answer was simple, Los Angeles. At least that’s what the media led everyone including OKC fans to believe. Presti, Russell Westbrook and George had other plans. On June 30, Westbrook threw a house party with guests like Nas. George appeared to announce his re-signing with the Thunder. This marked the first stellar move of the offseason and the first move of many from Sam Presti.
Getting rid of uselessness
Anthony proved to be a bad fit in Oklahoma City and it was clear he needed to be moved for either him or the Thunder to have success in the NBA. Presti recognized the discord with Anthony and pulled a rabbit out of his hat on July 19. He traded Anthony to the Atlanta Hawks in exchange for Dennis Schröder. Schroder started for the Hawks for the majority of the 2017-18 season.
In doing this, Presti not only moved a virtually immovable player, he also got rid of Melo’s huge contract that pushed the Thunder into a historically terrible $300 million luxury tax.
Presti even made a move Thunder fans have been praying to the basketball gods for years. He moved the infamous Kyle “Horrible Hair” Singler. Presti stretched Singler’s contract ultimately saving the Thunder money.
Presti made drastic improvements to the Thunder’s bench this offseason. That is something that has been a lingering issue for years. The lack of depth has always been a major key in the ultimate demise of the Thunder year after year. However, Presti was able to add some young “veteran” talent to the bench with not only Schröder but with a piece of “The Process.” Nerlens Noel decided to take his still unproven talents to Oklahoma City. A very interesting signing that finally gives the Thunder a solid rotation center that has the ability to produce on both ends.
Presti was also able to acquire a very promising looking young player in Hamidou Diallo with the pick No. 45 in the 2018 NBA Draft. Diallo is a 6’5’’ athletic shooting guard out of Kentucky. Diallo averaged 10 points per game during his college career.
Making other moves as well
Another solid rotation player with loads of potential that many thought would find his way out of OKC is Jerami Grant. Grant has proven his worth in the NBA. Many thought that he would receive offers from numerous teams for maybe even more money than he is worth. Especially since the NBA has always overpaid players not worth their contract. He never received that stellar contract offer. No matter, he did receive a pretty solid one from Presti. Grant received a three-year, $27 million contract from Presti. Grant inked that deal on the same day that PG13 signed his, June 30.
Clear goal in mind
It’s clear by Presti’s moves that he not only has the present on his mind in regards to the Thunder, but he also has the future. That statement proves true with the signings of all of the young talent, and the re-signing of Paul George. The Thunder had the best offseason of any NBA team. The Thunder may only be second to the Los Angeles Lakers, with their numerous signings of veterans and their signing of the G.O.A.T. himself, LeBron James. The Thunder definitely get an A+ for the 2018 offseason.
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