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Presti disappointed with Thunder season, hopeful for the future

Thunder General Manager Sam Presti speaks to the media following the 2017-2018 season. (KOKH/Scott Noland)

The general manager of the Oklahoma City Thunder said he was disappointed with the way his team finished the year, but hopeful for the team's future as they move forward.

Sam Presti addressed the media Wednesday, just days after the Thunder's season came to an end in a game 6 loss to the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.

"48 wins, one of three or four teams in top 10 in offense and defense, seventh best net rating in the league, ninth best record and we're disappointed and we should be. We expected more out of the team," Presti said.


Presti said he expected the team to start choppy as they added Paul George in an offseason trade and picked up Carmelo Anthony just before the start of the season. Presti pointed to Andre Roberson's mid-season injury as a turning point in the season.

"The real key to the regular season was the amount of time it took us to respond and adjust to the loss of him. We have to own that, we didn't do a good enough job with that," Presti said.

Presti touched briefly on the impending free agency of Paul George. The Thunder are unable to go into contract negotiations with George until July.

"With respect to his future, from the day he arrived we really made an effort to build a relationship." Presti said. "Our dialogue has been encouraging."

Presti confirmed that head coach Billy Donovan will continue to stay with the team. The Thunder head coach has seen a variety of lineups in his time with the team. Presti hopes to bring a little consistency to Donovan's lineup next season.

"If you think about the last three years, it's been a little bit of a whipsaw in respect to the team he inherited." Presti said. "Biggest opportunity for him is continuity."

In his season exit interview with the team, Anthony told reporters that he's "not sacrificing no bench role". Presti stated that he didn't want Anthony's comments to reflect on the commitment he took to moving into a different role throughout the season.

"He knew it was going to be a big transition. I personally think he did an excellent job in his first year of transitioning his game," Presti said.

Roberson's rehab after rupturing his left patellar tendon continues to improve, Presti said.

"We're going to take where we are and we're going to compete... keep coming, keep our eye on the ball and figure out ways we can get better. We're going to keep standing up and finding ways we can take this group and get it to another level. “ Presti said.


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