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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-01-03

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-01-03

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-01-03
Nenad Krstic's arrival in Oklahoma City wasn't the typical free-agent signing. Not only did the Thunder sign the Serbian center to an offer sheet in the middle of the season, the deal was further complicated by Krstic playing overseas.

Oklahoma City helped negotiate a buyout with the Russian club Lyubertsy of Superleague A. NBA teams can pay up to $500,000 to satisfy a buyout.

Bring him in now for $16 million over three years is a bargain if Krstic is as healthy as team doctors believe and his play in Russia suggest. The 25-year-old 7-footer with 18-foot range and high basketball IQ would have heavily been pursued this summer.

"We're no different than any other team in the league," general manager Sam Presti said. "We're always looking for ways to improve, and watch and track players that could be an addition. He's somebody we thought could be a fit for us. We saw an opportunity this season and decided it was something we'd like to purse."

Krstic won't be cleared to play until paperwork is completed on his work visa. He also realizes that acclimating back to the NBA will be a process.

"I know it's just going to take some time," said Krstic, who hasn't played an NBA game since last April. "Two weeks ago I played a game in Russia, and all of a sudden I'm in the NBA again in the middle of the season."

NUGGETS 122, WARRIORS 120: Gunning for its first winning streak of the season, Thunder players had their hearts ripped out once again Friday night. Moments after Kevin Durant hit a dramatic three-pointer with two seconds left to give Oklahoma City a two-point lead, Carmelo Anthony drilled a trey at the buzzer to win it for Denver.

The Thunder beat Golden State on Wednesday to finish out 2008 and was on the verge of opening 2009 on a winning note. The franchise hasn't strung consecutive victories together since the final two games of last season when the franchise was still in Seattle. Oklahoma City (4-30) is the first NBA team with 30 losses this season.

Durant continued his stellar play of late with 33 points on 10-of-21 shooting, including four of five beyond the arc. He added nine rebounds and five assists. Five other Thunder players scored in double-figures. Anthony led the Nuggets with 31 points.

Author: Fox Sports
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Added: January 3, 2009


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