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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-01-01

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-01-01

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-01-01
The signing of center Nenad Krstic illustrates the Thunder's strategy going forward of adding key components while maintaining financial flexibility. Oklahoma City hits a home run if the Serbian 7-footer, two years removed from a major knee injury, comes close to being the player that he was with New Jersey.

With possibly more than $20 million in cap space this summer, the Thunder can get creative when it comes to acquiring players and absorbing contracts. The three-year deal for a shade less than $16 million isn't much for a franchise with the league's second-lowest payroll and its worst record.

"It's always good to be able to add a player of Nenad's quality," Thunder GM Sam Presti said. "We feel like he's going to be able to help us and make a positive contribution to what we're doing in the short term and long term."

Krstic has not played in the NBA since last season. He spent this season with Triumph Lyubertsy of Russia's Superleague A, averaging 10.4 points and 5.2 rebounds. The Nets continued to hold his NBA rights as a restricted free agent but didn't match the offer sheet from Oklahoma City.

Krstic was having a career year with the Nets in 2006-07 (16.4 points, 6.8 rebounds and 53 percent shooting) before tearing his ACL. If healthy, and he has been cleared by Thunder doctors, Krstic can only help the frontline rotation of Nick Collison, Chris Wilcox, Joe Smith and Robert Swift. And at only 25, he should fit in nicely with the Thunder's young core of Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook.

THUNDER 107, WARRIORS 100: Jeff Green led three Thunder players with at least 20 points as Oklahoma City finished off 2008 with a rare win at home over Golden State. The Thunder snapped a five-game losing streak to improve to 4-29.

Green led all scorers with 26 points and pulled down eight rebounds. Fellow forward Kevin Durant followed up with 25 points and 10 boards, while reserve center Chris Wilcox chipped in with 23 and nine. Point guards Russell Westbrook and Earl Watson had 11 points each. OKC took control by dominating the third quarter, 27-14. Kelenna Azubuike led six Warriors in double figures with 24 points.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 1, 2009


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