If the NBA season ended today, it would be disappointing, but the maximum takeaway for Oklahoma City would be that 2019-2020 had an incredible success.
Discharged from post-season contention almost immediately after swapping both Paul George and Russell Westbrook last July, coach Billy Donovan found a way to galvanize his team and convince them to purchase a system where individual statistics were sacrificed for the well The group.
And for this, it should be mentioned when it comes to the conversation for NBA Coach of the Year.
But he’s not the only person in Oklahoma City who could get a league prize.
Although the Thunder has never won the NBA Executive of the Year (Zollie Volchok and Bob Whitsitt both won honor when the franchise was still in Seattle), Forbes’ Nick Crain believes Sam Presti deserves to be considered .
Finding herself in one of the most difficult situations of last summer, forcing her hand and swapping a MVP candidate last season to Paul George, she achieved a huge return. Oklahoma City got its future guard in Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, a lethal marker that can be turned over for more resources in Danilo Gallinari and as many as five choices in the first round. Later that summer, he swapped the cornerstone of the Russell Westbrook franchise with Chris Paul and even more choices in the first round. Paul has now exponentially increased his commercial value, established a winning culture in Oklahoma City and can also be launched for more resources along the way.
It’s not just the success Oklahoma City has had this season that has earned Presti’s well-deserved praise. He also made sure that the Thunders were set up with a stock of withdrawals in the coming years.
With more first-round draft capital in the next half decade and a young core to build around, Sam Presti has Oklahoma City Thunder looking like one of the brightest teams of the future in the NBA after his back has been against the wall last summer.
Based only on this season, it is not surprising that Presti’s name was mentioned along with James Dolan and the Knicks.
Luckily for fans of Oklahoma City, Presti has stood still and continues what he set in motion with the two successful exchanges last summer.