Thunder General Manager Sam Presti held his annual season-ending press conference Monday afternoon. Following a solid 55-win regular season and near historic playoff run, Presti addressed key issues, including Kevin Durant's impending free agency. Here are highlights from Presti's exit interview.
On free-agent Durant:
"I think Kevin deserves a tremendous amount of credit for the way that he’s handled his affairs. I’ve never been more impressed with somebody in that regard... We’re not able to have that season unless he handled his affairs the way he did...How fortunate are we that Kevin Durant has been one of the first players to ever wear a Thunder uniform?"
On how he'll approach off-season negotiations with Durant:
When it's time, we'll sit down and have that conversation with him, and at that point we'll know where we stand."
(Flash back to March, 2015 when Presti joined KFOR TV and said this about the Durant negotiation: "It won't be much of a negotiation. He'll have what he wants")
On Head Coach Billy Donovan:
"Donovan did an excellent job, he (Donovan) was intentional, curious and supremely disciplined. I thought he had an excellent first year, but I think next year a lot of the firsts will be gone for him, and he'll be maybe even better."
On free-agent Dion Waiters:
"The only thing I can tell you, it generally bodes well when the player is wanting to be back."
On Russell Westbrook's determination:
"If he was going to law school, he’d be a great lawyer. He's just a high-achieving individual, and those are the types of people we've always been attracted to here."
On Serge Ibaka's post-season success:
"Just the way that he performed in the postseason, the way he dealt with Nowitzki, Aldridge, he executed those game plans to a T, and he wasn't going to get a lot of help individually by design, and he was fantastic."
On the 2015-16 season and franchise's future:
"By the end of the season, there was a great compassion between the players. They were really playing for one another, really sacrificing for one another, We have a really special group of people, We finished the season the fifth youngest rotation in the NBA since 2010, and we're also in a position where we feel like we can continue to add to our team without having to deplete it or gut it in order to make progress, which is an exciting place to be in a salary cap system."
Presti concluded his near 45-minute presser by stating he has yet to watch an NBA Finals game, but did reiterate his confidence concerning the Thunder moving forward, in part because of a quality ledger of post-season opposition.