Thunder GM Sam Presti expresses confusion about Russell Westbrook, Paul George ‘discontent’ with franchise
Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti had kind words for former stars Paul George and Russell Westbrook at a press conference on Thursday, but he also seemed surprised when questioned about the reported discontent of the duo. Presti claimed that most NBA players are unhappy when the season ends without a championship, and insisted both players were ready to suit up for the Thunder until things changed in early July (via Erik Horne of The Oklahoman):
“I mean, again, I just can’t get into whatever the speculation is or — I could just tell you this: I don’t know how many guys in the NBA are contented at the end of a season. I don’t know what the discontent is referring to … But I think all systems were go heading into the season, and we were excited about it, but that’s just not the path it took. I feel really good about the way we were able to handle that from that point.”
Presti expressed appreciation for Westbrook and George, but also expressed confusion as to what the "discontent" was. Made a joke about "are the pancakes not fluffy enough?" “What you’re referring to, I don’t know what that means and I don’t know how to categorize that.” https://t.co/7GBUzHPCDC
— Erik Horne (@ErikHorneOK) July 25, 2019
Whispers around the NBA insinuated Westbrook and George were fed up with the early playoff exits and supposed roster instability. Once George realized the potential opportunity with Kawhi Leonard on the Los Angeles Clippers, he wanted to go there. And once George was gone, Westbrook was the next to go.
Presti did pivot pretty well from this setback. OKC has a roster that should be competitive next season and a boatload of draft picks to help rebuild the talent base.