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It’s safe to say Sam Prestie did a great job with Thunder of Oklahoma City. He made bold gestures and never hesitated to let go of the best talent when it came to taking bribes or getting more players in return.
Unfortunately, he never made it to the championship team, especially because Kevin Durant suddenly left the agency. However, the team under his leadership rarely missed the play-offs, and he now scored 16 free throws in the first round until 2026.
However, some people make it difficult for him because of all the talent he spends on business, because choosing Draft doesn’t mean anything if you don’t win the Larry O’Brien trophy. Today we’ll talk about the top ten players he’s traded over the last nine years:
Jeff Green (2011)
Jeff Green had to become an elite NBA forward and had the physical conditions to be a great defensive player. Of course none of this happened, but he was a disqualified member of rival teams for years.
Presti was the first to be disappointed by the inconsistency of Green and did not turn a blind eye to the fact that he traded him for Boston Celtics with Nenad Krstic and future decisions in exchange for Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson. This deal gave Thunder the big defensive man he needed so badly.
James Harden (2012)
(via Bleacher Report)
Sam Prestie has a lot of hatred for this deal, in all fairness it seemed the right decision at the time. James Harden was great, but he was the sixth man on the team. With Russell Westbrook and Kevin Durant, they didn’t need another scorer or a dominant player, and Harden was pretty bad in the NBA final.
Thunder sent Harden to the Houston Rockets with Cole Aldritch, Deacon Cook and Lazar Hayward for Jeremy Lamb, Kevin Martin and 3 bricks. Harden became one of the most talented goalkeepers of all time, a world champion scorer and the best player.
Reggie Jackson (2015)
You don’t have much time if you’re Russell Westbrook’s replacement, that’s a fact, and the main reason Reggie Jackson wanted to get out of Thunder of Oklahoma, especially after a good song that proved he was ready to escape elsewhere.
Westbrook was obviously always Presi’s friend, and he didn’t want to transfer him to Reggie. So he sent Jackson to the Detroit Pistons in exchange for DJ Augustine, Kyle Singler and the Draft, and got Anes Canter and Steve Novak to trade three teams for Utah Jazz.
Serge Ibaka (2016)
Serge Ibaka is the main reason why Sam Prestie sold James Harden. Ibaka, Harden and Presty didn’t have enough money to believe they could use Serge’s defensive experience for another attacker with a dominant ball.
Ibaka was the defensive pillar of the team for many years until Kevin Durant left the team and hinted to UCC that it would be renovated. He therefore swapped her with Ersan Ilyasova for Orlando Magic in the above agreement that led to Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo.
Domantas Sabonis (2017)
Credit: USA Today
The publication of Domantas Sabonis made no sense for Thunder of Oklahoma City. He had a privileged gene pool, and he became a great man who died and recovered like his father. So they sent Ersana Ilyasova and Serge Ibaka to bring them back, him and Victor Oladipo, in 2016.
That deal was a robbery and one of Prestie’s best shots. Not only did they have some young players with heavenly discounts, but Ibaka also left Orlando Magic in no time to join his opponent. Then Sabonis and Oladipo leave for Indiana to lock up Paul George.
Victor Oladipo (2017)
AP Photo/Alonzo Adams
When you have a chance to get an old 2. A special agent who doesn’t thrive on tracking down a bad team, pull the trigger. Sam Presti did that, and Oladipo started blinking and showed glimpses of potential Scouting superstars he had seen in his student days.
Oladipo became the second player of the team behind Russell Westbrook and was also very successful in defense. That’s why the Indiana Pacers rubbed their hands together when they got him and Domantas Sabonis in exchange for Paul George.
Carmelo Anthony (2018)
Carmelo Anthony was the scapegoat for the New York Knicks during one of their toughest periods. He was abused and murdered. He finally decided to veto the trade ban and join forces with Paul George and Russell Westbrook.
But after the failure of the trip to Carmelo for the play-offs, they again paid attention and Performance exchanged for Dennis Schroeder and Timothy Lewau-Cabarro for a three-team exchange between Thunder, Atlanta Hawks and Philadelphia 76.
Paul George (2019)
Paul George became one of the top two players in the Indiana league before finally signing up for a franchise contract. Presty did not hesitate to attack them, and gave Domantas Sabonis and Victor Oladipo in an instant.
George will eventually run for vice president and PD in Oklahoma, but the lack of success in the play-offs is knocking on his door again. Plus, Kavi Leonard wanted him to come to the Los Angeles Clippers. They offered Presti Danilo Gallinari, Shai Gilgius-Alexander and five picnics in the first round.
Russell Westbrook (2019)
(via KJRH (Tulsa))
Everyone thought Russell Westbrook would stay with Oklahoma City Thunder throughout his career, especially after signing a substantial renewal contract despite the departure of Kevin Durant. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.
Thunder wanted and had to recover, and Westbrook wanted and had to fight for the NBA Championship, so Presti traded him on the Houston Rockets with a few pounds in exchange for Chris Paul.
Chris Paul (2020)
Credit: Getty Pictures
When Thunder lost to Paul George, their chances of competing were pretty slim. Performance frees Russell Westbrook and exchanges him for the Houston Rockets for Chris Paul and picks. And just when people thought CP3 would sell out right away, he ended up having one of the best seasons of his career with him.
Paul led Thunder’s recovery in the playoffs and came very close to leading them in the second round. Prestie then sent him to Phoenix Sans with Abel Nabder in exchange for Thai Jerome, Jalena Lecca, Kelly Oberra Jr., Ricky Rubio and the first round selection.
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