Sam Presti hired as SuperSonics GM
Former NBA intern Sam Presti was hired Thursday as the general manager of the Seattle SuperSonics.
Contract terms were not disclosed.
Presti, 30, is the youngest GM in the NBA, and the second-youngest in league history to Jerry Colangelo, who was 28 years old when he became GM of the Phoenix Suns in 1968.
"He got the job because of who he is [and] how he does things," SuperSonics owner Clay Bennett said. "He is thoughtful, he is methodical, he is measured.
"He represents a new generation of NBA executives. He brings solid NBA management and basketball experience as well as a new, fresh, energetic approach."
Presti takes over for Rick Sund, who was fired April 24.
"I look forward to developing a culture and defining an identity for the future of Sonics basketball," he said.
"He represents the future," SuperSonics vice-chairman Lenny Wilkens said, "and will infuse the basketball operations and this organization with new energy."
Presti entered the NBA eight years as an intern with the San Antonio Spurs, earning $250 US a month.
Displaying an affinity for scouting and salary cap management, he rose up the ranks to become assistant GM under R.C Buford.
"We realized that it was going to be important that we not let him leave," Buford said. "Now, who knew that seven years later he would still be with us and continue to grow and turn into one of the outstanding front office talents that I've ever seen, especially when you consider the age."
"He has been a key component of the success of the Spurs organization," Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich said. "And although we hate to lose him, we knew it was a matter of time before a team came calling."
Presti's foremost challenge will be rebuilding the SuperSonics following their worst season in 21 years and, should they come to resemble the Spurs, so be it.
"I view the San Antonio Spurs as the premier franchise in our business," Bennett said. "And Sam clearly had an important role
within that organization, contributed to their winning and how they do business."
"He is a basketball junkie," Buford noted. "I think there is a conception that he is this Brainiac, and that is not the case.
"This is an extremely well-balanced individual who has great appreciation for basketball … he is incredibly thirsty for knowledge and he is very diligent in establishing processes that work for him."
Presti's initial mandate includes finding a head coach to replace Bob Hill and deciding which potential franchise player will be drafted with Seattle's second-overall pick — Greg Oden or Kevin Durant.
"We need to define this franchise as one built on professionalism, teamwork and integrity," Presti said. "We're well on our way to adding the key component, a new coach who can provide the dynamic and inspiring leadership to bring it all together on the court."
With files from the Associated Press