Thunder general manager Sam Presti monitored Nenad Krstic in Russia. Truth be told, he’s liked the 7-foot center since Krstic was a teenager in Serbia.
After Oklahoma City signed Krstic to a three-year contract Tuesday, Presti recalled how the Spurs, his former employer, were disappointed when the New Jersey Nets selected Krstic in the 2004 draft. The Spurs had the No. 26 selection that year. The Nets took Krstic No. 24. "We have followed Nenad for quite some time, from when he was in the draft, through his days in New Jersey and obviously when he was in Russia,” Presti said. Presti actually has followed Krstic even longer. The first time Presti saw Krstic he was playing for a junior national team when international scouting was one of Presti’s main duties with the Spurs. Krstic, 25, played four seasons for Partizan in the Yugoslavian League. It was his final two seasons, when he averaged 15.5 points and 6.2 rebounds for KK Partizan, the top team in Serbia/Montenegro, Krstic’s NBA stock began to rise. "International scouting has grown over the years,” Presti said. "Every team has a strong presence internationally, globally.
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