Rumor: Sam Presti leaving OKC for Portland?
Sam Presti, who yesterday celebrated a third anniversary as Sonic/Thunder GM, making him a rising free agent according to my records, claims he’s perfectly happy in Oklahoma. However, a Northwest source claims he interviewed in Seattle (home of Portland owner Paul Allen) for the Blazers’ job. Oh, that’s right, the job’s taken. Kevin Pritchard owns one year on his contract but he and everyone else (I do believe the Post had it months ago,) believe he’ll be fired immediately after the draft.
HoopsVibe’s Quick Call: Where there’s a little smoke, there’s bound to be a ‘blazing’ fire, right?
Well, change will surely be burning through the Portland Trail Blazers’ front office. Here’s what we know:
1) GM Kevin Pritchard has been on the hot seat for months. He allegedly doesn’t gel with longtime coach Nate McMillan. And there’s a feeling he lacks the experience to turn the Blazers into a contender.
2) Pritchard is heading into the final year of his deal. An extension does not seem to be forthcoming and owner Paul Allen probably doesn’t want a lame-duck executive.
3) As the New York Post is reporting, Pritchard’s dismissal is probably imminent.
4) Oklahoma City Thunder executive Sam Presti is highly sought after.
5) When asked if he had interest in the Blazers’ gig, the former San Antonio Spurs whiz kid shot down this rumor.
6) Presti has assembled the NBA’s best young team in Oklahoma City, so it’s unlikely he’d bolt with Kevin Durant and company heading into their prime.
7) Allen, the man behind Microsoft, has far greater resources than Clay Bennett and the small market Thunder.
Conclusion: Allen is looking to stabilize Portland’s front office, especially with news of another scandal in his organization. He wants Presti. And he’s phoned friends around the league for information about the Thunder’s architect.
It seems Presti is content in Oklahoma City, though. He has full control of basketball operations. He clicks with owner Clay Bennett. And his organization is poised to benefit from him drafting wisely.
There is one wildcard: money. Allen has too much of it, while Bennett and his partners were hit by the economic downturn. Still, Presti – unless he receives a massive offer he can’t refuse – isn’t heading anywhere.
Is Presti leaving Oklahoma City for Portland? Get at us in the comment box below with thoughts.