Sam Presti, the Oklahoma City Thunder's General Manager, held his annual "State of the Franchise" address yesterday and covered a wide range of topics during his session as the team enters the second half of their first decade in OKC. You can watch the full press conference in the video above.
Some of the highlights of Presti's address are as follows, as compiled by Anthony Slater at NewsOK.
On Russell Westbrook, what's his health status?
"He'll be able to go through the parts [of training camp] that he's cleared for. I'm hesitant right now to say exactly what he'll be able to do a week from the first day. But I will tell you that he'll be going through parts of camp starting on the first day. With that being said, when you're dealing with rehabilitation, it's a day to day thing because you're constantly retraining the body to do things it has not done in a while. So there'll be some good days, probably some setbacks as well, but he'll be able to do a lot out on the floor early on. Once he's meeting those thresholds and meeting those benchmarks, that workload will increase."
On Kendrick Perkins:
"Obviously he has high standards for himself, and he expressed those at the end of last season. He makes up part of the group and part of the continuity that's been around for quite some time, and he's been a part of the best team that we've had here. We expect him to continue to be an elite post defender. We expect him to impact the play of some of the top-tier centers in the league, especially those in the Western Conference. He's going to impact our team in other ways as well, and we've said that before. It's always hard to answer those questions without sounding defensive, other than to say Perk is a part of the success that we've had here. He's an important member of the team. We expect him to fill the role that he's given and contribute."
On Serge Ibaka:
"I think he's always going to be a presence defensively for us. Statistically, that's relatively proven his impact on the team. But, I think consistently working on spreading the floor, making shots, again playing around the rim. There are so many arteries to his game that I think will continue to be developed over time. He's still a very young basketball player. Just because we've been seeing him on a more regular basis doesn't make him less likely to improve."
On the rookies:
"I think it's way too early to determine who will see time in Tulsa. I do think it's safe to say that we'll always look to utilize it because it's a big part of our organization primarily because the development of players is really essential for our ability to sustain a high level team for a period of years, which is what we're aiming to do. It's too early to designate how Steven (Adams) and Andre (Roberson) will be utilized. That's obviously going to take its own form and Scott (Brooks) has to make decisions about the roles of the players and the positions they're put in and things of that nature. But we feel really good about the summers that both those guys had. They're workers, they understand what it means to play here, they both have a really good feel for who they are as players and they also understand they have a lot of work to do. When we drafted them, there were no secrets about that, but we're excited that both of them are in the program."