|Drafting at No. 2 is the easy part for SuperSonics' new GM|
|Written by Admin|
|Wednesday, 27 June 2007 11:04|
SEATTLE (AP) -Sam Presti speaks with the guile of a veteran NBA executive, saying a lot without divulging much.|
Yet the 30-year-old Presti is the youngest general manager in the league. And, less than a month into his new job, he faces the daunting task of overhauling the Seattle SuperSonics.
That remodeling begins with the No. 2 pick in Thursday's draft. Soon after, Presti will make a recommendation on a new coach and face the turbulent free-agent market starting July 1.
All that for someone two years younger than Seattle's best player - All-Star Ray Allen.
``We haven't just been hanging out,'' Presti said the other day.
Step one in overhauling the Sonics is the easy part - select either Greg Oden and Kevin Durant on Thursday night, depending on who is left after Portland makes the first pick.
Once selecting the No. 2 pick is out of the way, then Presti's renovation job really begins.
``We've got to look at every position and get better at every position,'' Presti said. ``We're looking just to get better and be aggressive in doing that.''
When hired June 7, Presti inherited an organization that went 31-51 last season, had no head coach and had a roster consisting of offensive talents with little interest in playing defense.
Even without a coach, Presti has a specific definition of the player he's seeking, similar to the types he watched come through San Antonio in his seven years in the front office with the Spurs - versatile, team oriented and committed to defense.
``It's going to be our first steps into redefining Sonics basketball,'' he said of the draft. ``I'm looking forward to bringing some players into the fold that will be very, very close to our philosophy going forward.''
It will be the second time in franchise history Seattle has owned the No. 2 pick. That previous second overall pick turned out quite well for Seattle - Gary Payton in 1990.
Seattle also owns the first and fifth selections in the second round (31st and 35th overall). And Presti is considering an assortment of trade options.
``We want to add good players to our roster. At the same time we're going to listen to different opportunities that may arise,'' Presti said. ``It's a deep, deep draft, especially toward the end of the first round.''
But most Sonics fans will be focusing on the top of the draft, and seeing who Portland bypasses.
Whether it's Durant or Oden, the arrival of the No. 2 pick is among the most anticipated in franchise history. Many fans hope that player will re-energize efforts to keep the Sonics in Seattle beyond next season. There has been little movement in getting a new arena since the Washington state Legislature adjourned in April, and owner Clay Bennett has said he will file relocation papers with the NBA if no solutions for a new arena seem viable by Oct. 31.
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