Thunder GM Sam Presti handed staff pic of MacGyver to prepare for free agency
Oklahoma City Thunder general manager Sam Presti is known as one of the most talented executives in the league, but to improve on his 47-win, first-round playoff exit team, Presti knew he had to make a splash in free agency or at least make a deal for another player to pair with MVP Russell Westbrook.
In an article written by Lee Jenkins detailing how the Thunder eventually traded for All-Star forward Paul George, Presti got down to business as soon as the Thunder were eliminated by the Houston Rockets.
The Thunder tried to acquire George at the February trade deadline, but were unsuccessful as was every other team that reached out the Indiana Pacers.
Here is Jenkins describing what happened when Presti gathered his staff after the season:
"Presti handed all his top lieutenants notecards with a picture of Richard Dean Anderson, the actor best known as MacGyver. The implication was obvious, at least to elders in the building.
We’ll have to use some tools we don’t have yet or some tools we haven’t had,” says director of basketball operations Paul Rivers, “and look from a perspective we haven’t had to look from before.” The Thunder did not possess a trove of draft picks, like the Celtics, but they did employ another kind of asset. When Durant bolted they made a conscious decision to invest in young controllable players, partly because they could be developed, but also because they could be traded far more easily than veterans.
For those who don't get the MacGyver reference, here he is in action diffusing a bomb with a paper clip.
George was dealt in exchange for guard Victor Oladipo and power forward Domantas Sabonis.