Roughly 12 minutes into his news conference Friday afternoon, Thunder general manager Sam Presti became teary eyed while discussing the departure of forward Jeff Green.
"I have unbelievable respect for Jeff Green. I value him greatly â€¦" Presti said, his voice tailing off.
Just five minutes earlier, Presti was smiling at the thought of having 6-foot-10, 280-pound center Kendrick Perkins in a Thunder uniform.
One day after the NBA trade deadline, emotions were still a little raw for those involved.
Friday was Presti's first opportunity to publicly discuss trades which sent Green, center Nenad Krstic and the Los Angeles Clippers' 2012 first-round pick the Thunder owned to the Boston Celtics in exchange for Perkins and guard Nate Robinson. The Thunder also traded guard Morris Peterson and forward D.J. White to Charlotte for center Nazr Mohammed.
"Yesterday was exciting, but (it) also was a difficult day for our team," Presti said. "Clearly, when you have guys leave your organizations â€¦ it's never easy."
All three newcomers arrived in Oklahoma City on Friday and will be available for interviews after practice Saturday. If the players are permitted to practice, that means the trades have been finalized.
Robinson and Mohammed could be available when the Thunder plays the Los Angeles Lakers inside Oklahoma City Arena on Sunday at 1:30 p.m.
However, Perkins is expected to miss one week with a sprained medial collateral ligament in his left knee. He had surgery to his right knee last July to repair a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered in Game 6 of last year's NBA Finals against the Los Angeles Lakers.
When Perkins is healthy, the Thunder's starting lineup is expected to be Russell Westbrook at point guard, Thabo Sefolosha at shooting guard, Kevin Durant at small forward, Serge Ibaka at power forward and Perkins at center.
The Thunder began this season as the league's third-youngest team and its starting lineup becomes even younger with the additions of the 26-year-old Perkins and the infusion of the 21-year-old Ibaka.
Ibaka's continued emergence helped make Thursday's trades possible.
"I don't think Serge is a driving factor necessarily," Presti said. "I think the fact we have some depth allowed us to look at this (trade) more closely. We understand having Serge there is a benefit for us.
"I really credit our coaching staff's focus on development in the sense that we feel like Serge is prepared, not to meet every challenge but certainly to have the opportunity to take the challenge on as he increases his role a little bit with this move."
Thursday's trades leave the Thunder with one open spot on its 15-man roster. Presti would not speculate how or when he will fill that spot.
The arrival of the 5-foot-9 Robinson gives OKC another small guard in addition to second-year backup point guard Eric Maynor.
"Nate coming to our team, I don't think that's necessarily a reflection on Eric," Presti said. "We're very pleased with Eric. My job is to continue to strengthen the roster any way I can. When you make trades it's not necessarily an indictment on other players. It's more about trying to help the other players as a whole."
Presti said he and coach Scott Brooks acknowledge the Thunder now enters a transition period.
"The important thing to recognize is that anytime someone gets traded, those are tough things," Presti said. "The (Thunder's new) guys are excited about the opportunity. I think they have a good feel for the team and the things they are about to do.
"If I were to sit here and tell you I thought we were the perfect puzzle or that we were completed, I don't think I'd be very genuine. We know we've got areas to improve on. We know there are things we need to address, but we can't do that all at one time."