Thunder Insider: Would Sam Presti bolt OKC?

Thunder Insider: Could Sam Presti really bolt the Thunder for the Blazers?

by Darnell Mayberry Published: June 7, 2010
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/> Presti, meanwhile, has been given that freedom in OKC. He makes it a point in press conferences to thank Thunder chairman Clay Bennett and the rest of the team's ownership group for how it has supported his methodical, build-from-the-ground-up approach. And it seems unlikely Presti would jump from one extreme to another.

Furthermore, Oklahoma City already appears to be a step ahead of the Blazers in terms of the on-court product, even though the Blazers entered the rebuilding process three years before the Thunder. With Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook, Jeff Green, James Harden, Serge Ibaka, Thabo Sefolosha and Eric Maynor, Presti has a stable of hand-picked players, all 26 years or younger, who fit his often-stated desired attitude of working hard, sacrificing and playing for each other on the court while being positive role models and stand-up citizens off it.

You also could argue that the Thunder's talent exceeds that of the Blazers, whose young stars include Brandon Roy, LaMarcus Aldridge, Greg Oden, Martell Webster, Rudy Fernandez, Jerryd Bayless and Nicolas Batum.

And while money is less of an issue for Allen in Portland, the Blazers will have less flexibility in the coming years now that contract extensions for Roy and Aldridge are set to kick in next season. Current projections have the Blazers already on pace to be over the salary cap next season and likely to surpass the luxury tax threshold as well in 2010-11.

The Thunder will be in the same boat in two years. But when you consider the talent level of the Thunder players, the fact that they're Presti's own and he admittedly likes what's taking place here, the time just doesn't seem right for Presti to jump ship. Not for a place in Portland.


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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