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Kevin Pritchard, Steve Kerr Out While Crappier NBA GMs Still Have Jobs | How To Watch Sports
And just because no conversation about GM quality would be complete without mentioning Sam Presti of the Oklahoma City Thunder, let’s take a gander at how Mr. Presti made his colleagues look foolish this year.

The Thunder were able to move up in the draft by cashing in some cap space that Presti had carefully cultivated. First they landed Miami’s #18 pick simply by being willing to also take on the $2.1 million salary of Daequan Cook. With that pick in tow, they packaged up the #21 and #26 picks and sent them to New Orleans in exchange for the #11 pick, plus another salary dump player. The result? They managed at #11 to snag Cole Aldrich, the highly-regarded center from Kansas, to shore up a frontcourt that started Nenad Krstic in the middle most of last season.

Advantage, Thunder. Then, having gained some momentum, Presti went ahead and traded away Kentucky guard Eric Bledsoe after taking him with the #18 pick, to the Clippers for a future first-round pick. And Clipper first-round picks, as a rule, tend to be higher than #18. Game, set, match.

Record 7 Big 12 players selected in first round of 2010 NBA draft, 10 overall
With a seven players selected in the first round of the draft, the Big 12 Conference, led all major college conferences. That also sets a record for the most players from the Big 12 to go that early in the annual professional basketball draft.

Different night for FSU's Alabi, Reid | Tallahassee Democrat
Reid was almost as shocked as anyone that his name was called on Thursday night. "I wasn't really expecting it," he said on Friday. "I honestly wasn't really thinking about the NBA. I was never thought of as an NBA prospect.

So for that to happen, I was just surprised." Here's how it happened. The scouts for the Thunder were in Atlanta on Dec. 20 to watch Alabi go up against Georgia Tech draft prospects Derrick Favors and Gani Lawal. In that game, Reid scored a career-high 17 points, pulled down five rebounds and had three steals in leading the Seminoles to a 66-59 overtime win. He also helped hold the highly touted Favors (who wound up being the No. 3 overall pick) to just eight points.

The Thunder took notice and began following Reid throughout the rest of the season.

2010 NBA Draft Grades: Did The Clippers Actually Win? - SBNation.com
Oklahoma City Thunder: Cole Aldrich (11), Tibor Pleiss (31), Latavious Williams (48), Ryan Reid (57). Is it alright if I admit I wasn't that crazy about the Thunder's draft? Sure, landing a future first-rounder from the Clippers could be big (provided the Clippers don't land a big free agent this summer), but Aldrich at 11? He fills a need to be sure, but there's a reason he most often draws comparisons to Joel Pryzbilla. Pleiss is a bit of a mystery and Williams has good hops for a big man, but Ryan Reid really was Sam Presti's Keith Hernandez moment: Reid averaged 6.8 points and 4 rebounds per game for Florida State, prompting Jonathan Givony of Draft Express to dub him the worst draft pick...ever.

Hoops Addict " Big Expectations For Cole Aldrich
In the three years that Aldrich wore a Jayhawk jersey, Kansas won three regular season titles, two conference tournament titles, were the #1 seed in two of three N.C.A.A. tournaments and won the whole thing in 2008.

Last season, Kansas’ strength of schedule was ranked as the best in the country. They responded by winning the Big XII regular season and conference tournament championships. He anchored the front line of most dominant college basketball team in the country in 2009 and the first two and a half months of 2010. It was a season in which Aldrich’s and the Jayhawks’ first loss didn’t come until the January 6 of this year, en route to a stunning second round exit at the hands of an upstart University of Northern Iowa team and shooting guard Ali Farokhmanesh. In that 67-69 loss, Aldrich amassed a double-double, scoring 13 points and pulling down 10 boards in just 27 minutes.

The Jayhawks overall record while Aldrich was at Kansas is an outstanding 97-14. That’s a win percentage of 87% and the defining characteristic of Aldrich’s game. The guy just knows how to win.

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