With his free agency just over a week away, the Thunder are keeping the lines of communication open with Paul George, general manager Sam Presti said on Thursday night, per Brett Dawson of The Oklahoman.
“Paul and his representation, we built a relationship built on transparency, trust and collaboration,” Presti said. “I’m happy to say that that’s continued during the period of time that the season ended to now, which I think speaks a great deal about Paul George and just who he is as a guy. It’s just how he operates. Things don’t change.”
Meanwhile, Presti confirmed that the Thunder have also been having conversations with Carmelo Anthony‘s representatives in recent weeks. Although it’s viewed as a virtual lock that Anthony will opt into the final year of his contract, Presti wasn’t willing to make any assumptions on Thursday, as Erik Horne of The Oklahoman writes.
“I can’t speak to necessarily what he’s gonna to do with respect to the early termination option, but we have been in touch with him and tried to provide him with as much information as we can so he can make the most informed decision possible,” Presti said. “But it’s pretty well-documented, we have a lot of balls in the air, and it’s still June. It’s not even July. So, we’ll have to see what it is that he chooses to do, and we’ll continue to have conversations from there.”
Here’s more from around the Northwest:
- Following Thursday’s draft, Trail Blazers president of basketball operations Neil Olshey said the club made an effort to use its No. 24 pick and trade exception to land an “impact rotation guy,” but couldn’t find a suitable deal (Twitter link via Joe Freeman of The Oregonian). “(This draft) wasn’t about existing players,” Olshey said, referring to the fact that no veterans were traded on Thursday. “It was about the draft.”
- The Timberwolves were active on the phones throughout the draft considering potential trades, but ultimately decided that keeping the 20th and 48th picks was their best option, writes Jon Krawczynski of The Athletic. Minnesota had spoken to the Pacers, Trail Blazers, and Hawks about moving down from No. 20, but with a run on wings happening, didn’t want to risk losing out on a player like Okogie, Krawczynski notes.
- Nuggets president of basketball operations Tim Connelly said the club had “countless” conversations about trading up in the draft, but was thrilled that Michael Porter Jr. fell to No. 14. Connelly added that the Nuggets will be cautious with Porter and won’t play him until the team is confident that he’s “perfectly healthy” (Twitter links via Gina Mizell of The Denver Post).