Here are some comments from Thunder coach Scott Brooks and GM Sam Presti on yesterday’s trade deadline activity. It’s fairly lengthy so I’ll let you get to it……
Q: What is your reaction to the trades for Malik Rose and Thabo Sefolosha?
A: We’re excited to have them both. We’re looking forward to bringing them in and have them fit in and work with us. And we will be able to tell more after a few practices and shootarounds with them. But we like Malik’s veteran leadership and his experience and his toughness. And with Thabo, we like his defensive mindset. It’s something that we’re building this team on. Both guys we’re looking forward to having with us.
Q: What do you know about Thabo and how do you envision using him?
A: I only know him from a distance and watching him while I’ve scouted my teams as an assistant coach. I love what he brings to the team. He seems like he does the defensive work that successful teams need to have on their team. I don’t know really other than that until we see him with our guys where he’s going to match up at and where he’s going to fit in on the court. But I like what I’ve seen on video. He’s going to bring a defensive toughness to our team. We’re building our team on defense and we have to get better at that area.
Q: Will he immediately compete with Kyle Weaver for the starting shooting guard spot?
A: Right now that remains to be seen. I’m looking forward to having our guys compete against each other. I think it’s important for not only young teams but all teams to have a very competitive spirit in practices. Having another important piece to our team is going to help each of them get better. But he’s definitely going to compete for minutes, and that’s what we want all of our guys to do, compete for minutes. But we’re looking forward to having them both here.
Q: Does Thabo Sefolosha fill the void on the wing that you attempted to remedy with the attempted signing of C.J. Miles?
A: I think adding Thabo gives us another defensive-minded perimeter player, someone that can guard multiple positions. He has excellent athleticism and we feel like he’s another player that we can add to the team that fits well with the group that we have now. And we feel like he has a chance to continue to grow as a player.
Q: What kind of defender is Thabo?
A: I think that obviously his athleticism benefits him greatly on that end of the floor with his length. I think that he does a nice job off the ball. He’s pretty focused. I wouldn’t categorize him as one way or the other, other than someone that understands that end of the floor. I think he’s someone that’s going to help us continue to get better defensively because that’s an area that we want to try to address.
Q: How long have you targeted him?
A: We’re always tracking different players, and he’s somebody that has made a name for himself with his versatility and his ability to defend multiple positions. And those are guys that have value around the league. So we’re just always looking for players that we feel like can fit with our group as they grow.
Q: What did you like in Malik Rose?
A: Malik is someone that brings a lot of experience and a veteran presence. I think he’ll be very good for our team and the culture. I think he’s someone that’s going to add depth to the frontcourt for us. I’ve known him since his days in San Antonio and I think he’s going to be a definite positive addition for our ball club.
Q: How much can Rose’s championship experience help this team?
A: I think Malik has seen a lot of different things in his career. Coming up the way that he did and earning everything, I think all of his experiences will help our younger guys. He’s someone that has tremendous respect from around the NBA and he’s a true professional. Those are important qualities that we want to continue to feed into our program.
Q: Did you feel like you had to trade Chris Wilcox?
A: No, not necessarily. Obviously when we’re making deals we’re looking at several different factors. His opportunities here from a playing standpoint were limited. So we took this deal when it surfaced. Obviously having Malik involved in it and the additional compensation, those are things that you weigh when you’re looking to make deals. But it wasn’t necessarily an urgency from our standpoint.
Q: How would you evaluate the day?
A: I think you always have to take a step back and look at what your objectives were, look at what you’re trying to accomplish for your team in the short term and the long term. I like what we did. We were looking for opportunities just like every other team and found a few that we thought would help us as an organization…We’re pleased with what we were able to accomplish.
Q: How did the rescinded trade impact what the moves you make?
A: We certainly didn’t make any decisions based on reaction to that situation. That’s something that we tried to be thorough with in our process. We have to make the intelligent decisions for our organization and take the information that we have and do what we think is in the best interest of the team. We did not alter our process. We just continue to make the best decisions that we can with the information that we have at hand. That’s the way we try to approach each situation.