Oklahoma City Thunder Off-Season: Sam Presti Cleans House

Thunder Off-Season

The Oklahoma City Thunder off-season was a crazy one. It was directed by Sam Presti, who has been the Thunder’s general manager since 2007, back when the Thunder were the Seattle SuperSonics. His first move as General Manager for the SuperSonics was drafting Kevin Durant second in the 2007 NBA Draft. Now, in the past offseason, he has made trades with 15 NBA teams in a first effort to rebuild the Thunder team.

Last season, the Oklahoma City Thunder were given a 0.2% chance (per ESPN Stats) to make the playoffs at the beginning of the season. Not only did the Thunder make the playoffs, but they were also the fifth seed in the Western Conference.

After losing in the first round, Sam Presti and the Thunder made some big changes.

The Thunder and long time head coach, Billy Donovan, parted ways after five seasons with the team. Later, Presti promoted assistant coach Mark Daigneault, who had been the assistant to Donovan since his days at the University of Florida.

But, that was only the tip of the iceberg for Sam Presti and the Thunder organization. The Thunder’s roster last season was filled with young talent and older experienced players, which took up most of the minutes. Presti and the Thunder ultimately decided to clean house this offseason to prepare to draft their next championship team.

Trades

Next in the process, Sam Presti traded with 15 different NBA teams this offseason. They got rid of key players like Chris Paul, Danilo Gallinari, Steven Adams, and Dennis Schroeder. Check out below the most interesting and biggest trades that the Thunder made this past offseason.

Future Draft Picks

  • 2020: Aleksej Poukesevski and Theo Maledon (via 2020 NBA draft)
  • 2021: OKC first-round, MIA first-round, GSW top-20 protected first, HOU first-round, OKC second-round, DEN first-round
  • 2022: OKC first-round, LAC first-round, PHX first-round (1-12 protected), OKC second-round
  • 2023: Best first between OKC and LAC, MIA first-round (lottery protected), DEN first-round (lottery protected), OKC second, WAS second-round, best second-round between DAL and MIA
  • 2024: OKC first, LAC first, HOU first (top four protected), MEM second-round, OKC second-round, CHA second-round
  • 2025: Best first-round between OKC, LAC, and HOU, PHI first-round (top six protected), OKC second-round, ATL second-round
  • 2026: OKC first-round, LAC first-round, HOU first (top four protected), OKC second-round, DAL second-round
  • 2027: OKC first-round, OKC second-round, IND second-round

Outlook

If that was not confusing enough, there is an explanation for the Thunder off-season. Sam Presti, as stated before, traded away key players like Chris Paul, Steven Adams, Danilo Gallinari, and Dennis Schroeder. The Thunder received a lot of draft capital back from teams in return and they could have 21 draft picks that are not their own in the next seven drafts.

It’s important to remember that the Thunder have 11 of their 17 players on their roster under 25 years old. Highlight players include Shai Gilgeous-Alexander, Luguentz Dort, Darius Bazley, Hamidou Diallo, Theo Maledon, Aleksej Pouksevski, Ty Jerome, and even Isaiah Roby.

The Thunder have a lot of young talent in their roster that they can build around. The two biggest players from the roster they have kept are Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Luguentz Dort, who were both large parts of the Thunder’s team in the playoffs and regular season last year.

Liked it? Take a second to support Upside Hoops on Patreon!

Leave a Reply

Upside Hoops