Despite success, Thunder must stay humble, hungry
Thunder general manager Sam Presti said during his season-ending news conference that the team can't allow itself to be complacent going forward.
Videoview all videos
Photoview all 106 photos
NewsOK Related Articles
Presti praised coach Scott Brooks for his development as well. By mid-season, Brooks showed an ability to be more flexible, juggling his lineups more often and going from a nine-man rotation to playing 10 players.
“I think Scott deserves a lot of credit,” Presti said. “He was incredibly resourceful.”
Presti, citing team policy, declined to discuss the possibility of a contract extension for Brooks, who is entering the final year of his deal. At the end of the 2008-09 season, Brooks signed a two-year deal with a third-year option. It's possible that Presti decides to wait until after the 2011-12 season before making a decision on Brooks' future to allow more time for evaluation.
“I think Scotty did a great job,” Presti said. “He's continued to push our team forward … He continues to drive himself to improve … He wants to come back better. That's one of the qualities we like about him. That's why he's a great fit for our organization.”
When asked about assistant coaches, Presti said a potential change with the remaining staff is Brooks' decision.
The biggest order of business for Presti this summer, or whenever a potential lockout is lifted, is re-signing point guard Russell Westbrook. The third-year point guard exceeded all expectations and developed into an All-Star, a Second-Team All-NBA member and, by most accounts, a top-five point guard in 2010-11.
“We're looking forward to having those conversations at the appropriate time,” Presti said.
Decisions must also be made on shooting guard Daequan Cook, a restricted free agent, and center Nazr Mohammed, an unrestricted free agent. Presti said he liked what Cook did this season, which was convert a career-high 42.2 percent of his 3-pointers despite limited and, at times, erratic playing time.
Mohammed, meanwhile, could return as a veteran presence. But the Thunder has two potential backup plans in youngsters Byron Mullens and Cole Aldrich. Mohammed, however, has said he would like to return.
“Naz did a great job for us. He really did,” Presti said. “One thing you're always looking for in players, and I think people, is for them to be dependable and reliable. And he's both of those things. We knew that before he arrived. That's who he is. He's a true pro. We liked what he did for us. At the appropriate time, we'll sit down and see where he is with things and have a conversation.”