Fiscal Responsibility Key for Small Markets?
(Sam) Presti has preached sustainability since this franchise first docked in OKC. Sustainability was in short supply in the decision-making of the Hornets and Magic in recent years. Just check out the contracts given to Peja Stojakovic (Hornets) and Hedo Turkoglu (Magic). Those all-in decisions meant the future was now.
But sustainability means being competitive virtually every year. Maybe not championship-level, but competitive.
That’s the San Antonio model and, to a certain extent, the Utah model. Those franchises are the answer to the boom-and-bust histories of the Hornets and Magic and the like.
Sustained competitiveness is not a pipe dream in small markets. We’ve seen it accomplished in places with smart management and fiscal responsibility.
That’s why the Thunder won’t overspend for Serge Ibaka and/or James Harden. Presti would love to have both building blocks signed on for the long haul, but you can’t play with just four players. The four stars and a roster of cut-rate journeymen would not win a title or even come close.