Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti called the 2017-18 Thunder season a disappointment, but expresssed confidence and optimism the team and franchise can improve next season.
Presti held his annual postseason news conference with the media on Wednesday, stressing that continuity is a major key in the success of the franchise.
Presti believes if the team can re-sign Paul George in the offseason, and get Andre Roberson back healthy after his season-ending knee injury, the team will be able to continue to progress.
Presti said head coach Billy Donovan will return as head coach for his fourth season, and expressed confidence in his ability, and his belief Donovan has the qualities the Thunder need to lead the team.
Presti wants to keep an open line of communication with both George as he enters free agency, and with Carmelo Anthony, who expressed some reservations about his role on the team at his exit interview last Saturday.
Presti admitted if the Thunder re-sign George, they will be spending a lot of money and probably have to pay luxury tax again, but that if George does not re-sign, the salary cap won’t be an issue.
Presti said they’re not making plans for the team if George does not re-sign, but will be ready to make moves if that happens.
Free agency begins in July, and the Thunder or any other NBA team can’t hold talks with George about a contract until that time.
The Thunder finished the season 48-34, earning the fourth seed in the Western Conference Playoffs.
OKC was eliminated from the playoffs in the first round in six games by the Utah Jazz.