Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti make some significant moves last summer to bolster a roster that fizzled out in the first round a year ago. Adding renowned stars Paul George and Carmelo Anthony was supposed to bring the squad to the next level; however, the Thunder were only able to win one more game with its star trio than it did in the previous year and fell to the Utah Jazz in the first round of the playoffs.
In the trade for George, the Thunder sent Victor Oladipo, who signed a 4-year, $84 million extension in 2016, and Domantas Sabonis to the Pacers. Oladipo went on to make his first career NBA All-Star Game and took LeBron James and the Cleveland Cavaliers to seven games in the postseason. Sabonis nearly doubled his scoring output from the previous year, scoring 11.6 points per game on 51.4 percent shooting from the field.
At Oklahoma City’s end-of-year press conference, Presti insisted that he’s rooting for Oladipo and Sabonis to succeed in Indiana and that he wasn’t surprised that they succeeded:
“I wasn’t surprised because we gave Victor that contract. A lot of people made fun of us when we did that and we also traded a significant player to get Domantas… I couldn’t be happier for those guys… We want players that are from Oklahoma to go on and have success in other places. We’re not like 5-year-olds rooting against people.”