Sam Presti Rumors
Until the end, though, Krause was endlessly intrigued with the modern NBA and asked questions about the general managers and players. Tell me about R.C. Buford and Neil Olshey, Masai Ujiri and Sam Presti, he would ask. After Kevin Durant left Oklahoma City, he started to ask questions about Presti and his Thunder roster. I told Presti about my conversation with Krause, passed along a phone number and it wasn’t long until Presti made a trip to Chicago and spent an afternoon with Krause.
When they were talking, Krause asked Presti: “Have you ever had that feeling when you just saw something – a flash … a glimpse? I call that electrified scouting.” The thrill of the lonely scouting chase still sparked Krause. On Presti’s visit, Krause brought out files upon files of catalogued scouting reports. “Players I had never heard of, guys who had never made it,” Presti said.
Speaking after Golden State’s Monday morning shootaround in OKC, Steve Kerr disputed the report. “I don’t agree,” Kerr said. “(Thunder GM) Sam Presti’s a friend of mine. I know (Thunder owner) Clay Bennett. It’s a class organization all the way, so I don’t really pay any attention to a story like that unless there’s an actual name name that’s put on it. I assume it’s just sources. Is it ‘sources’? I don’t know who that is. It’s nobody with the Warriors. We have great respect for them. Sam’s been a friend of mine forever. They’re first-class, so I don’t know where that comes from.”
But once again, even without being on the court this time, Durant is at the center of this swirling NBA drama. “This league is a very interesting place all the way through,” Steph Curry said. “Certain stories that don’t need to see the light of day, don’t need to have any life breathed into them somehow are the most popular. That’s kind of how it goes. To me, it’s kind of comical what can be put in the spotlight during an 82-game year…I actually look forward to waking up and seeing what ridiculousness is posted.”
Did Dixon know right away he had a future NBA player on his hands? “We knew how good he was. Other people didn’t know because he obviously didn’t play much in America. Big kids take a little bit longer. He’s in the perfect place [now in Oklahoma City]. It’s funny, it’s such a small world. He ends up getting drafted by Sam Presti, who is a really good friend, and his coach is Scott Brooks, who was a roommate of mine at TCU my freshman year. So it all goes round and round. “Everybody was kind of shocked he went that early in the draft. But I knew exactly where he was going, what team, because we had a number of conversations.”