The Sonics confirmed today the hire of Sam Presti as the GM.
I cannot emphasize enough how happy I am with this hire. Early on rumblings from the team indicated a desire to hire David Griffin as the general manager. That sentiment changed quickly when every person I speak with began talking about Presti as the man they had targeted. I am extremely impressed with the teams ability to land the guy they identified as their #1 target. Given the turmoil in the franchise there is a lot to be said about simply identifying a guy you want and being able to sell him on the situation. Nice job by the franchise.
Presti is universally admired and I have yet to hear a bad word about him. My initial concern regarding the interest was his ability to interact with Sonics Assistant GM Rich Cho. I am an admitted fan of Cho and frankly do not want to see any moves within the organization which could result in his departure. He is the one member of the staff who is pretty much universally liked by players, staffers, and media. Initial reports of Presti's skillset seemed a bit redundant with Cho who is considered a cap specialist.
I have been assured that Cho and Presti will interact just fine with Presti being thouroughly involved in scouting in the San Antonio system. The two will combine into a young, and hopefully dynamic tandem that should see some success.
Presti will get his first chance to conduct an evaluation for the team when USC PG Gabe Pruitt works out for the team this Sunday. Pruitt is a potential second round pick for the Sonics.
My optimism was tarnished when a rumor (I want to be very clear, an unconfirmed, unsubstantiated rumor) out of city hall indicating that Clay Bennett had contacted the mayor to discuss lease buyout terms. Yet again Clay Bennett managed to rain on my parade. This rumor, which could have been nothing more than idle chatter by office staff initiated a frantic press release by SOS&S.
I can confirm that Bennett is scheduled to meet with the Muckleshoot tribe this week after making the Presti announcement. The Muckleshoots are really, really serious about this thing and may be emerging as a real answer. They are not going to let the teams go without a fight.
See the release in and please contact Mayor Nichols to express your views: