By A. Suave Francisco
Entering the NBA's free agency period, rumors came swirling through the grapevine and outside of Blake Griffin, Oklahoma City's name wasn't a significant topic in any of the conversations. Thunder fans even started calling for General Manager Sam Presti's job.
That narrative quickly changed around Thunder nation.
Early Friday evening, most of the Thunder faithful got a notification on their phone announcing that the Thunder are finalizing a trade to send Paul George to OKC for Victor Oladipo and Domantas Sabonis.
In their nine seasons located in Oklahoma City, they have a (441-281) record (.637 percent), which ranks second in the NBA over the last decade behind the San Antonio Spurs. The argument has been that he hasn't won a championship yet, but blasphemous remarks like those come from people that aren't as sharp when it comes to the NBA's interworkings.
With the ever-growing social media age, you're bound to see some notification every day outlining a possible scenario. It has started an entire culture. We're simply living in a different age of the NBA.
Personally, Presti's genius and technique seemed clear after he quietly orchestrated an impressive roster behind closed doors. No one understood why he drafted Russell Westbrook at No. 4 and they couldn't comprehend why he'd take James Harden the following season at No. 3 overall. As we know, Westbrook and Harden finished first and second in the MVP voting this year. Him drafting Serge Ibaka and stashing him overseas for a season to develop his skills a little more worked out as well. He's been a very solid NBA player since then. Later on down the line came Steven Adams. It's clear Presti knows what he's doing.
He may have even undervalued the guys he drafted. Durant, Westbrook, Harden, and Ibaka weren't supposed to be as good individually as they turned out. They all four became extremely expensive players. Presti had no choice. Somebody had to go. He happened to choose Harden, and he ended up being an MVP candidate.
With that being said, Friday evening came out of thin air. While NBA fans, analysts, players and fellow GMs waited to see whether George would take it back to Southern California to play with his hometown Lakers, join an extremely talented Boston Celtics team, or join the King in Cleveland, Presti had his own plans behind the spotlight.
The Thunder are like that random guy that comes out of nowhere to take the girl you and two other guys have been fighting over throughout the entire school year.
Sam Presti works in silence, always has. Very rarely will you hear rumors swirling around the media regarding any major moves Sam Presti has on his mind.
This is a move that completely stunned the NBA. No one saw it coming, it came out of far left field. Oklahoma City rolled the dice big time and left it all on the table. In an attempt to show Westbrook this franchise indeed means business, Presti delivered.
This presumably isn't the end of OKC's offseason either. Rudy Gay is still a hot topic of conversation, so is Zach Randolph, the former all-star big man from Memphis and Michael Carter-Williams from the Chicago Bulls.
However, like I said, the likelihood of Presti doing what everyone expects is very low. Who knows what the next more may be.