Nine NBA players and one of this year's top-rated high school players have taken their talents overseas this summer, sparking a somewhat shocking wave of players who have spurned the NBA in favor of signing with foreign teams. In a Q&A with The Oklahoman, Oklahoma City general manager Sam Presti talks about the growing trend, how it could impact Oklahoma City in free agency and whether the NBA should be concerned. Q: What has been your reaction to the flood of players joining foreign teams? A: Every situation is different, and until you learn more about what each player's objectives are it's hard to make a determination. But it's certainly something that I think everyone in the league is aware of. But I think it's more of an individual decision for each player. Should the NBA be concerned with this movement? I think the NBA is obviously a very strong league. It's got tremendous players in it. I'm sure that the folks in the league are aware of it. But I think it still remains that the best basketball in the world is being played in our arenas every night. Is this something that concerns other GMs? You don't necessarily talk about it in specifics. Usually you're more focused on the business at hand. But certainly as a general manager you have to be aware of the marketplace as well as international basketball, because it's certainly a prevalent talent pool from a talent standpoint. So it just puts more responsibility on each team to be aware of the global market. What kind of impact do you think it will have on Oklahoma City's ability to sign free agents? I think it's still real early to try to determine that. So I think it's something that we'll just have to continue to watch, just like other marketplaces. Do you think we'll see the day when the league loses one of its biggest stars to a foreign club? Again, I'm not sure that we have enough information at this point. I still think that the league is certainly aware of it, but at the same time I think they're pretty confident of the product that they have in place. What would you like to see the league do to help teams compete with what these foreign teams are able to offer because of no salary cap limitations? I think that would be something for us to think about, but at this point in time without really having a good feel for how the rest of the summer will play out, I'm not sure I'm prepared to answer it right now. I'd really have to sit back and think about it. Without seeing how the rest of the summer plays out and if this is something that's a consistent trend, I really haven't been able to assess it.
Oklahoma City general manager says the NBA is still the best basketball in the world.