Sam Presti addresses Thunder’s main concerns

Darnell Mayberry Modified: June 26, 2009 at 12:40 am •  Published: June 26, 2009
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Thunder general manager Sam Presti said Wednesday he didn’t think fulfilling every need the Thunder has would be a realistic goal going into Thursday night’s NBA Draft.

He nearly pulled off the impossible.

In third overall pick James Harden, the Thunder added a much-needed perimeter shooter. In trading 25th pick Rodrigue Beaubois for Dallas’ No. 24 pick B.J. Mullens, Oklahoma City landed a center that has the potential to blossom into an anchor in the middle.

The Thunder’s most pressing needs going in: shooting and interior defense and rebounding.

So what now?

The Thunder’s point guard situation is still in the air as the start of free agency nears. Earl Watson is entering the final year of his contract and expects to be on the move. Shaun Livingston is recovering from a near career-threatening injury and remains a question mark. A backup to starter Russell Westbrook might be essential.

Presti has essentially turned the roster into one that he could now wait on to reach its potential. He won’t. He’ll keep tweaking.

Oklahoma City could use some veterans around a core of Westbrook, Harden, Mullens, Kevin Durant, Jeff Green, Kyle Weaver, D.J. White, Thabo Sefolosha and Nenad Krstic.

But that’s a solid nine-man start.


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