NBA Franchise Notes: Thunder Front Office Committed To Winning With Offseason Moves
The Thunder in the offseason acquired Fs Paul George and Carmelo Anthony, and in Oklahoma City, Berry Tramel writes the team was "all in on staying not just relevant, but returning to championship caliber." GM Sam Presti was "all in on working every available corner to upgrade the roster." Ownership was "all in on committing absurd amounts of money to a payroll" and G Russell Westbrook was "all in on being the franchise cornerstone." Ownership has "committed to a payroll" north of $130M for this season, which could mean a payroll tax over $25M, and if George and Anthony "stick around in the future, that tax could skyrocket" to as high as $140M. The Thunder's "commitment to winning is unassailable" (OKLAHOMAN, 10/18).
SHOW MUST GO ON: On Long Island, Greg Logan noted Nets GM Sean Marks on Monday confirmed that Owner Mikhail Prokhorov is "deeply into negotiations to sell the team." Marks added that he "not only will remain committed to his long-term vision but also would expect any prospective owner to speak with him before the sale to learn details of that plan and the unwavering support Prokhorov has provided." Marks: "If he finds the right strategic partner, which is what he’s asked for, then, he would probably look to sell the team. But that’s out of my realm.” Marks said that he was "not aware of a particular timeline for the sale and was unsure whether Prokhorov ... would surrender control of the Nets." Prokhorov is said to "prefer" selling 49% with a "three-year window to gain majority control" (NEWSDAY, 10/17).
DO YOU BELIEVE IN MAGIC? In Orlando, Mike Bianchi wrote the Magic's "most exciting new addition" this offseason is President of Basketball Operations Jeff Weltman, who along with his "handpicked GM" -- John Hammond -- "know what they’re doing." The duo has a "combined 63 years of front-office experience." The Magic are "trying yet again to get it right." Bianchi: "And don’t kid yourself, it’s not going to happen immediately." This season is "about Weltman and Hammond getting a chance to assess the current players on the roster and then deciding who the Magic should invest in moving forward" (ORLANDOSENTINEL.com, 10/16).
COURSE CORRECTION: A Heat spokesperson said that the team will move its South Florida charity golf tournament to "another course" in '18 after holding it at Trump Doral the last four years. In DC, David Fahrenthold noted the event "benefits the Miami Heat Charitable Fund, which is administered by a larger nonprofit group, the Miami Foundation" (WASHINGTONPOST.com, 10/17).