Whatever transpires for the Oklahoma City Thunder during this year's NBA Draft, it will be a culmination of the team's scouting work performed all year long, not just on Thursday night.
Keeping your draft choice: “It doesn't necessarily mean adding a player,” Thunder general manager Sam Presti said. “It could also mean you're using a draft pick as a way to add something else down the line, or add something in the form of another draft pick. We try to identify the best decision for the organization based on the body of work collected during the season.”
Knowing when to act: “Sometimes, it's as much about restraint as it is about aggressiveness,” Presti said. “Every team is different. It's based on where you are at a time and place within your organization. Restraint is found in recognizing that time and place, looking at your options, but not necessarily looking solely at today. It's balancing today and what the future might hold,”
Making a trade: “You're always trying to find trading partners that match up, trying to find a way for both teams to feel like they've walked away with something to help their team,” Presti said. “Teams run in cycles and some teams are in more of an immediate cycle. Some teams are in more of a future cycle. We can't deny the fact this is a business and economics play a role in decisions, as does future positioning and forecasting. All those factors go into trying to make thoughtful decisions not only for your team but for the organization as a whole.”
Having an immediate impact: “Our objective is not to make decisions for the sake of demonstrating our urgency to improve the team,” Presti said. “I think that is inherent to the business we are in. We always want continuous improvement and development. However, our focus has always been on what we feel positions the team to be successful now and in the future and not necessarily on what may be the most popular or widely accepted decision. Tough decisions are part of the business, but the health and sustainability of the organization comes first and above all else.”