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News » Presti a longtime follower of Krstic


Presti a longtime follower of Krstic


Presti a longtime follower of Krstic
Thunder general manager Sam Presti monitored Nenad Krstic in Russia. Truth be told, he's liked the 7-foot center since Krstic was a teenager in Serbia.

After Oklahoma City signed Krstic to a three-year contract Tuesday, Presti recalled how the Spurs, his former employer, were disappointed when the New Jersey Nets selected Krstic in the 2004 draft. The Spurs had the No. 26 selection that year. The Nets took Krstic No. 24.

"We have followed Nenad for quite some time, from when he was in the draft, through his days in New Jersey and obviously when he was in Russia," Presti said.

Presti actually has followed Krstic even longer. The first time Presti saw Krstic he was playing for a junior national team when international scouting was one of Presti's main duties with the Spurs.

Krstic, 25, played four seasons for Partizan in the Yugoslavian League. It was his final two seasons, when he averaged 15.5 points and 6.2 rebounds for KK Partizan, the top team in Serbia/Montenegro, Krstic's NBA stock began to rise.

"International scouting has grown over the years," Presti said. "Every team has a strong presence internationally, globally. ... You just try to collect as much information as you can, compile it, analyze it and interpret it."

Krstic was going to be one of Presti's top targets in July. By signing him during the holidays, Krstic is off the market and becomes one of OKC's cornerstone players alongside Kevin Durant, Jeff Green and Russell Westbrook.

How Krstic, 25, ended up with the Thunder is believed to be a first in NBA annals - signing a restricted free agent overseas during the season.

After playing four years for the Nets, Krstic signed with Triumph Lyubertsy of Russia's Superleague last summer.

Presti heard Krstic was disenchanted and wanted to return to the NBA. Oklahoma City helped pay a $500,000 buyout for him to leave Russia and made a three-year offer the Nets declined to match.

"Triumph was incredibly easy to work with," Presti said. "They were great in communication and did a fine job throughout the process. It's a little unique, adding a player (from overseas) during the season."


Author: Fox Sports
Author's Website: http://www.foxsports.com
Added: January 3, 2009

 

 
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