The Norman Transcript

Local Sports

June 6, 2014

Presti keeps focus on long-term in the offseason

(Continued)

OKLAHOMA CITY —

When it came to current players, the status of Reggie Jackson and Kendrick Perkins were a hot-button topic.

For Perkins, it’s a matter of if getting rid of him make the Thunder better. In Presti’s estimation, using the amnesty clause on his contract doesn’t improve the team.

“We will look at everything as we always do,” Presti said. “But as we said before, it’s not something being considered to this point. Kendrick, as we know, is someone that has contributed to a lot of our success. Quite honestly, we’d be having this press conference a lot sooner if he was not a part of the organization when we took the floor against Memphis. This conversation would probably be happening in May, not June. Anything with Kendrick would have to have some type of strategic advantage. To this point, it’s not something we’ve really looked at because we haven’t seen the advantage.”

With Jackson getting close to the end of his rookie contract, the Thunder are looking to lock him up long term. But Jackson has stated he wants to be a starting point guard in this league. With Russell Westbrook on the team, that’s highly unlikely.

Yet, Presti said the team has no plans to trade Jackson.

“Reggie, obviously, is a guy we think highly of,” Presti said. “He’s come through the program, he’s been given a myriad of opportunities, some by design and some out of necessity. We are able to have conversations with him starting July 1. We are going to make a concerted effort to try and work something out with him that works for everybody. If that doesn’t happen, we’ll pick the conversations up the following summer and see where that leads us.”

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