Sam Presti Rumors

Zanin has been a scout with the Thunder for the past four years. Like Utah, the Thunder are respected throughout the league for their scouting on the college and pro level under Sam Presti. “If Presti hires you, it says something (about your ability),” one opposing scout said when asked about Zanin. Prior to his stint with Oklahoma City, Zanin worked closely with Billy King in Brooklyn. Zanin was an assistant GM with the Nets and elevated to acting GM after King’s dismissal. He stepped down after the Nets hired Sean Marks as general manager. Zanin, who began his career with King in Philadelphia, was described by one opposing scout as a hard worker who doesn’t seek the spotlight. During his tenure as acting GM, Zanin was in the spotlight for a brief time — but not from his own actions.
Sam Presti, Thunder Executive Vice President & General Manager, spoke with media members via video conference call on a range of subjects including the NBA’s suspended season, the team’s performance in 2019-20, and business for the organization to complete if and when this season (or next) resumes. He answered several questions but (unsurprisingly) could not provide much in the way of concrete plans or expectations from his vantage.
Storyline: Coronavirus
On the Thunder’s plans for resuming activities as permitted by state and local governments: “The league has said May 8th is the target date. But as we’ve seen, things are changing day by day. I don’t think we’re committed to that date. The league has given teams flexibility for what’s best for them. We’re gonna be thorough in how we look at it… The players have been great. They have zoom calls. I’ve been inspired by how our organization has inspired each other and leaned on each other… We don’t know when we’re coming back or if we’re coming back.“
On the Thunder working together with the rest of the NBA toward an eventual, if “imperfect”, return to play: “As one of 30 (NBA teams), even though we’re competing against other organizations, this is not the time for that. When we return, even if it’s next season, we are experiencing it together. There are bigger things at play here. My hope here is that we figure out how to get through this virus and keep people safe. Then we can think about basketball… Basketball is so small relative to everything we’re facing right now… (You can’t) pretend you have the facts that you don’t have… We’re so far into hypotheticals and theories at this point, I’m not sure the work is productive.”
“We weren’t the chief health office that night; the state and OSDH was,” Holt said. “We were trying to figure out what to do with the 21c hotel, which is where Rudy Gobert was sitting, in his room … people were coming to the lobby asking, ‘Is Rudy Gobert at this hotel?’ “I’ve got calls rolling in from the NBA, from Sam Presti. They were trying to figure out a variety of issues, including where would the Jazz sleep tonight if they couldn’t get out? Because they needed about 50 rooms, and they had checked out already … And also finding a hotel who could take in people that might have COVID-19.”
Storyline: Coronavirus
More could be added to the mix, but the Bulls, sources say, will not pursue Toronto president of basketball operations Masai Ujiri or longtime Oklahoma City exec Sam Presti, marquee names some fans hoped the team’s frustrated ownership would present with a blank check. The team also will not look to high-powered player agents, an increasingly trendy approach and one that rules out Chicago-based Priority Sports founder Mark Bartelstein as a possible candidate.
And it also should be noted that the Bulls historically have not operated as a big-spending franchise when it comes to management. It would take upwards of $9 to $10 million to even get Presti to the negotiating table. The sniffing around I’ve done on this story leads me to believe that that’s not a route the Bulls plan to take. Things can change, and this process is a fluid one. But my educated guess is the Bulls will hire multiple people for a restructured front office and spend their money that way.
The BlackBerry development, though, undeniably stung. Rosas, you see, is one of four lead decision makers for N.B.A. teams known to still do the bulk of their business on a BlackBerry. Rosas, Houston’s Daryl Morey, Oklahoma City’s Sam Presti and Toronto’s Masai Ujiri compose the confirmed quartet. Milt Newton, Milwaukee’s assistant general manager, is another Blackberry devotee. Perhaps more will become known after this article hits, but Rosas described the adherents as “a small community.” BlackBerry stopped producing its own phones in 2016 but had a licensing agreement with a Chinese company (TCL Corporation) to keep making them, which led to the KEYone model in February 2017 and the KEY2 in June 2018. According to the Feb. 3 announcement, no new phones will be released through TCL after Aug. 31.
Barring an end-of-season collapse, OKC should make the playoffs. But that doesn’t mean it’s looking for an addition to carry it deeper into the postseason. Nor is the Thunder entering tanking season. “What we want to do is be playing meaningful basketball at the end of the year,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said back in September. “We want to try to do everything we can to put ourselves in position to optimize the group that we have, and there’s just no shortcuts to that.”
Either way, decisions will have to be made on the front office after the season. Both Mills and GM Scott Perry have separate mutual contract options for next season, according to a source, meaning they’d have to be picked up by both themselves and the Knicks to return. Dolan would love to pry Masai Ujiri out of Toronto, but there’s skepticism it can done with the team president under contract. Such a deal would be very complicated if the Raptors play hardball. Another name being mentioned around the league is Thunder president Sam Presti. Rockets president Daryl Morey is expected to be a free agent but is saddled with the China controversy. According to ESPN, Morey’s tweet supporting Hong Kong cost the NBA between $150 million and $200 million in Chinese-driven revenue. The league can say whatever for PR purposes but the preference is Morey’s departure.
There were countless text messages and phone calls and then two in-person meetings at Drake’s house in Hidden Hills, California. (Drake had befriended Leonard during his season in Toronto and let Leonard — who lives in San Diego — stay there when he was in Los Angeles for free-agent meetings.) By July 1, they had decided to put their plan in motion: Leonard told the Clippers that he was interested in playing for them but only if they could improve their roster by adding an All-Star-caliber player like George. The next day, Leonard met with George in Los Angeles. Shortly after their meeting, George’s agent placed a call to Thunder president Sam Presti, asking if he would look for a trade to help George and Leonard play together.
6 months ago via ESPN
Presti was stunned, but he said he’d consider it. His only request was to meet with George face-to-face before proceeding. He flew to Los Angeles on the evening of July 2 and saw George on July 3. George reiterated the request and talked through his reasons for wanting to make such a move — he wanted to play with Leonard but mostly wanted to play at home — just a year after re-signing with the Thunder. It wasn’t what Presti wanted to hear, but he respected the way George went about it. Presti said he’d look for trades that would help him play with Leonard and made sense for the Thunder.
6 months ago via ESPN
A source said last week that Mills and Perry are under significant pressure following the firing of head coach David Fizdale. If Mills is let go the Knicks will likely turn their attention to Toronto exec Masai Ujiri. Sam Presti also has fans within the organization. If Mills was let go in season, the expectation is that Perry would take over for the remainder of the year.
The Thunder are over the luxury tax, but I’m told evading the tax isn’t a priority. The financial penalty is minimal this season, and they’ll be out of the tax in the coming years because of all of the expiring salaries they have over the next two seasons. In fact, the Thunder are actually willing to absorb long-term, pricey salaries in deals, according to league sources.

Kiki Vandeweghe interested in Knicks president job?

Regarding the front office, Mills and GM Scott Perry are likely to last the rest of the season, according to sources. That could change if James Dolan gets cranky, but, regardless, the front office is far from safe in the offseason. Names are already being floated across the league of executives who might replace Mills. They include: Masai Ujiri, Sam Presti, Kiki Vandeweghe (who is interested in the job, according to a source), Daryl Morey (who probably won’t last in Houston following the China controversy), Trajan Langdon and Sam Hinkie.
This rumor is part of a storyline: 637 more rumors
The Thunder has hired former Thunder guard Eric Maynor as an OKC Blue assistant coach. Thunder general manager Sam Presti announced the news at his preseason press conference Thursday. “Eric had great years here,” Presti said, “but he also played overseas, which I think gave him a totally different perspective on the game and appreciation for the game.” Maynor joined the Thunder in December 2009, when the Jazz traded him to OKC. In 183 games with the Thunder over four seasons, Maynor came off the bench to shoot 36.4 percent from 3-point range. Following his five-year NBA career, Mayor continued to play in Europe.
Presti takes a trip on his own every summer – he thanked his wife for letting him do so – to ponder the upcoming season, read, journal, etc. This year’s trip was to Vermont. That’s where Presti began to grow his facial hair out. “When I got back, nobody seemed to have a problem with it,” Presti said. “So I just kind of let it roll for a little while. I can’t tell you this is something that’s going to be around that much longer, but that is really the story behind it.”
The Thunder are hoping some of that greatness will rub off on Bazley as he joins a suddenly rebuilding team led — for the time being — by another member of James’ inner circle, Chris Paul. Bazley got off to a delayed start with the Thunder this summer, as he’d been officially drafted by the Utah Jazz, then had to wait to make his Las Vegas Summer League debut as a backlog of agreed-upon trades got processed in a particular order. “His ability to handle the ball at his size is really, really unique, and defensively he’s got great range for a young player at that size, as well,” Thunder GM Sam Presti said. “It’s going to be a process with him. We’ll have to be patient. We understand that. But at that range of the draft, to be able to get a player that has those ball-handling skills at 6-foot-9 is pretty unique.”
After George requested his trade from the Thunder — and pushed to have it consummated within 48 hours — Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti lamented the ability of players under contract to talk with and recruit one another without penalty. It is one of many factors the league office is considering. “You have Paul George, one of our premier players in the league, who was paid very well by the team, suddenly announce, ‘Hey, I want to be traded,'” Gentry says. “You have no recourse but to get the best deal you can. “I hear players say, ‘Why is it different from a team trading us?’ Because this isn’t football, where they can say, ‘If you’re not playing well, we’re gonna cut you and you won’t get paid.’ We pay our players and it’s guaranteed.”
“At points when it wasn’t going so well, we were wanting to do shots from the bar,” Morey said. “The discussion at that point among the basketball staff was, ‘Hey, we need to check in and see if this changes the direction.’ I guess there was a thought they might trade other guys like Russell. You never know. At this point, it was pretty unknown.” That afternoon, Morey called Presti, speaking only in general terms. He did not make an offer. He did not specify interest in Westbrook. “Most deals happen when you’re trying to find out what the other side is trying to do,” Morey said. “Got a sense of what they were trying to do. It seemed there could be a fit.”
Instead, Morey and Presti collaborated on their second blockbuster together, reuniting Westbrook and Harden nearly seven years after the trade that sent Harden to Houston. “At one point, James asked me, ‘Why is it taking so long?'” Morey said. “I told him, ‘Dude, your trade took me five months.'”