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News » Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-09-04

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-09-04

Oklahoma City Thunder Getting Inside 2009-09-04This Thunder's summer wasn't about splashy trades or big free-agent signings, even though the franchise had the ability to do both. That doesn't mean that all was quiet on the Oklahoma prairie.

"We're always looking to evaluate our team and looking for ways to do that," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said. "We're working very hard to create flexibility for ourselves from a cap standpoint, but that being said, we're also being very methodical and process-oriented as we acquire pieces because our chief focus for our franchise is to build a team that's sustainable.

"We feel the team that we have in place coming back needs a chance to continue to play and grow, understanding that there are going to be peaks and valleys ahead."

Though he can't come flat out and say it, Presti knows the team isn't ready to win just yet. Factoring in the franchise's lame-duck season in Seattle, the rebuilding process is just going into its third year.

So why spend now when it isn't clear what exactly is needed? Sure, Paul Millsap might have looked good in a Thunder jersey, but a better fit could be on the market next summer or the year after. Presti also has to lock up his group of budding stars in the coming years, starting with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook.

"As we continue to watch them play and grow," Presti said, "we're going to have a better idea as to what direction and pieces we need to add as we evolve as a basketball team."

Durant, Westbrook and Jeff Green have emerged as the team's three best players. Thabo Sefolosha and Nenad Krstic were added during last season, while lottery pick James Hardin joined the fold this summer. Thunder coach Scott Brooks will head into camp with an improving and hungry group.

Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website:
Added: September 4, 2009


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