Thunder general manager Sam Presti shared some interesting comments Wednesday when asked about teams that might be intentionally losing to boost their draft position, a strategy commonly referred to as tanking.
“Oddly enough, I think it’s a narrative that was created to tweak the league office, and they are showing to be quite reflexive to it,” Presti told The Oklahoman. “I’m actually a bit surprised they have fed into it and devoted so much public energy to it given the lack of evidence. The records of the teams in the bottom four of the league are in line with those over the last 20 seasons. If anything, they are actually slightly above those averages. I’m missing the epidemic on this, really. I would hope we’d focus our attention on a lot of the great things our players are doing and that the league has in place now. Maybe we can get to the five-point shot in the off-season.”
Presti’s comment at the end of the casual conversation about a five-point shot is in reference to the league reportedly looking into the possibility of adding a 4-point shot. An NBA spokesman, however, released a statement refuting an ESPN.com report last month, saying no one from the league or the competition committee has had any serious conversations about adding a 4-point line.
“ESPN.com chose to make a story that doesn’t exist,” the spokesman said.
ADAMS ON GASOL
After a solid defensive performance on Houston All-Star center Dwight Howard, rookie center Steven Adams must now turn his attention back to Pau Gasol, the Lakers center who gave Adams and the Thunder fits Sunday in Los Angeles.
Adams already has a healthy respect for Gasol and said he will need to rely on advice from the coaching staff and injured center Kendrick Perkins once again to determine how to best defend Gasol.
“He’s the man,” Adams said. “He’s skilled. He’s really smart, good with the ball. I’ve got to do my homework again, ask Perk.”
Adams said he’ll aim to prevent deep post catches for Gasol, as well as contest his shots and “bump him up.”
“I don’t think he likes contact too much so I’m going to try to bump him up as much as possible,” Adams said.
Told that he’s pretty good at that, Adams replied, “Yeah, that’s what they got me here for.”
TULSA ADDS ONE TO ROSTER
The Tulsa 66ers acquired Dominic McGuire from the Santa Cruz Warriors in exchange for the returning players rights to guard Dominique Sutton, the team announced Wednesday.
McGuire, a 6-foot-9, 235-pound forward, has six years of NBA experience, averaging 2.7 points, 3.4 rebounds and 1.4 assists in 342 games. Originally drafted by Washington in 2007, McGuire has played for seven NBA teams, most recently Indiana last season.
In 22 games (18 starts) with Santa Cruz this season, McGuire averaged 13.3 points, 9.5 rebounds and 3.1 assists in 32.1 minutes.
Adams on what James Harden said to him during a dust-up Tuesday night — “He said I was charming.”