Sam Presti Rumors

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Darnell Mayberry: Sam Presti when asked directly whether Josh Huestis will be on the roster next year: “He’s someone that we think very highly of. We think he has a future with the team. He could be as early as next season.” Presti says OKC has a good body of work from Huestis in the D-League/feels confident in his ability to contribute to the team in the future.
The Oklahoma City head coaching job was believed to be between Florida’s Billy Donovan and UConn’s Kevin Ollie. Not so, per a source. The Thunder never approached Ollie about the job. Oklahoma City GM Sam Presti has enormous respect for Ollie, who was a member of the Thunder front office before taking a job with the Huskies, but the team was locked in on Donovan from the start.
Q: How important is this year’s draft pick to the team given how much higher it is than anticipated, and what position or type of player do you feel is the biggest need? Also, who will represent the organization at the NBA Draft Lottery? Sam Presti: Every draft pick is viewed as an opportunity, or an option of sorts for the club. Will Dawkins and our amateur scouting department have done a great job this year of planning for various scenarios within the draft. It is up to us to sort through ways that we might be able to use the draft pick to generate the most value for the organization. This could mean picking the best available player, looking to trade the pick, or any other myriad of concepts that we are exploring each day. Russell Westbrook will be representing the organization at the Lottery, and I told him the other day that if people watching at home do not have to adjust the brightness on their television screen based on what he is wearing, I will be really surprised. That or something sans sleeves.
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Q: There was a report that management consulted with Kevin Durant on the hiring of coach Donovan but not with Russell Westbrook and Westbrook is now upset with the organization because of it. Is there any truth to that report, and have you spoken to Westbrook since Donovan was hired to get a sense of what he’s feeling? Sam Presti: As I have stated before, I do not feel it is in the best interest of the guys, or team collectively, if we were to poll our players in regards to specific personnel or staff decisions. However, we have spent a significant amount of time over the last seven-plus seasons discussing, observing and defining our culture with our players, which we feel is important given their role in building the identity for the Thunder. One aspect of this recent process was to have specific conversations with several core members of the program, including Kevin and Russell, regarding important qualities that should be considered in looking for our next head coach. Fortunately, our continuity and communication over the years in combination with our more recent discussions gave us an understanding that there is an alignment with regards to the qualities that we felt were important to our progression and evolution. Multiple people within the organization have been in contact with Russ and he will be in town later this week to meet with the staff.
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Q: What makes you confident the team can re-sign Enes Kanter this summer, and what did you see in Kyle Singler that makes you interested in bringing him back? Sam Presti: Both players stand to be restricted free agents in their early-to-mid 20’s, and this, in combination with the pending TV money hitting the system in the future made it possible for us to pursue both aggressively in trade while still maintaining confidence that we could continue to build a team around our core in the coming years. Enes is someone we are committed to seeing in a Thunder uniform moving forward. With regards to Singler, finding a player in free agency that can shoot close to 40% from the three point line over the course of a season, embrace various roles, and stand as one of your more fundamental players at 6-9 is unlikely when over the cap and tax. Therefore, we are hopeful we will be able to keep working with him in the future.
There was a report that management consulted with Kevin Durant on the hiring of coach Donovan but not with Russell Westbrook and Westbrook is now upset with the organization because of it. Is there any truth to that report, and have you spoken to Westbrook since Donovan was hired to get a sense of what he’s feeling? Sam Presti: As I have stated before, I do not feel it is in the best interest of the guys, or team collectively, if we were to poll our players in regards to specific personnel or staff decisions. However, we have spent a significant amount of time over the last seven-plus seasons discussing, observing and defining our culture with our players, which we feel is important given their role in building the identity for the Thunder. One aspect of this recent process was to have specific conversations with several core members of the program, including Kevin and Russell, regarding important qualities that should be considered in looking for our next head coach.
“It’s been a complete whirlwind for me the last four or five days,” Donovan said. “I am extremely thankful the way [Thunder general manager Sam Presti] laid out the organization to me over about a two-and-a-half-day period because, to be honest with you, I really did not know a lot about the Oklahoma City Thunder. I knew of Sam, I obviously knew of the players and organization, but I didn’t know what it was about. And it was that — that really made me turn my head when I started to find out more, that I think the qualities, the values, what this organization is about is directly in line and mirrors what I believe.”
“We wanted to identify a person with the traits associated with high achieving leaders in their respective fields; a continuous learning mentality, the ability to adapt, evolve and innovate, intrinsically motivated, humility, and great tactical competence,” Presti said in a statement released by the team. “While we created a comprehensive analysis regarding the qualities we were looking for, it became quite evident that Billy was the ideal fit for the Thunder as we look to transition our team into the future.”
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“We are thrilled to welcome Billy and his family to the Oklahoma City Thunder organization. When we began the process of identifying the next head coach of the Thunder, we started with a vision and the identifiable qualities that we felt were necessary for our organization as well as the ever evolving role of the head coach in today’s NBA. We wanted to identify a person with the traits associated with high achieving leaders in their respective fields; a continuous learning mentality, the ability to adapt, evolve and innovate, intrinsically motivated, humility, and great tactical competence,” Presti said. “While we created a comprehensive analysis regarding the qualities we were looking for, it became quite evident that Billy was the ideal fit for the Thunder as we look to transition our team into the future. Billy has achieved an incredible level of success and experience within his 21 years as a head coach and has shown the unique ability to not only create but sustain an elite program. His emotional intelligence, commitment to the concept of team, and relentless approach to incremental improvement have allowed him to bring his players together and establish lasting relationships through competitive success. Billy’s core values and alignment with our culture and community, as well as his proven tactical abilities, make him an ideal addition to the Thunder organization.” ‎
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CBSSports.com’s Gary Parrish reports that the Thunder coaching search is solely focused on Florida’s Billy Donovan, who is said to have met with GM Sam Presti on Tuesday. According to other reports, Donovan wants to meet with Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka before accepting the job, which he is strongly considering. CBSSports.com reported last week after Brooks was fired that Donovan was the Thunder’s first choice. League sources now say Presti has cordially fielded calls from agents for other possible candidates, but has been moving forward exclusively in his pursuit of Donovan.
The Oklahoma City Thunder are preparing an offer for Florida coach Billy Donovan and pushing for him to accept the job as head coach, league sources told Yahoo Sports. Donovan is the only serious candidate in general manager Sam Presti’s search, and the two-time national championship coach is enthusiastic about the possibility of the job – if terms on a deal can be reached, sources told Yahoo Sports.
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The Oklahoma City Thunder have formally entered into advanced discussions about their vacant coaching job with Florida coach Billy Donovan, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that Donovan and Thunder general manager Sam Presti have opened a serious dialogue about the position, which became available a week ago after the dismissal of Scott Brooks. One source close to the situation went so far as to tell ESPN.com that “the job is Donovan’s to lose.”

Thunder already talking to Billy Donovan

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The Oklahoma City Thunder have formally commenced discussions about their vacant coaching job with Florida coach Billy Donovan, according to league sources. Sources told ESPN.com that Donovan and Thunder general manager Sam Presti have opened a dialogue about the position, which became available a week ago after the dismissal of Scott Brooks.
Donovan has a reputation for running a tight ship in Gainesville. He runs highly-structured, highly demanding practices, keeps the media at bay with an extremely controlled environment and maintains a small inner circle. He’s also consumed by his passion for basketball. Last year, Donovan said the opportunity to focus solely on basketball is one of the things that intrigue him about coaching in the NBA.
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Presti’s trip to Gainesville is of particular interest given his track record with the Gators coaching staff. Last summer, Presti hired two Gators assistants: Mark Daigneault as head coach of the Oklahoma City Blue and Oliver Winterbone as an analyst. Presti also is believed to have a close relationship with Donovan, who on several occasions has expressed interest in making a jump to the NBA.