Sam Presti issued an extended statement as the Oklahoma City Thunder announced their trade of Russell Westbrook for Chris Paul.
“We recently had conversations with Russell about the team, his career, and how he sees the future," said Presi. "Through those conversations we came to the understanding that looking at some alternative situations would be something that made sense for him. As a result, and due to his history with the Thunder, we worked together to accommodate this,” said Presti. “Our ability to have these types of conversations and work so closely with Russell and his agent Thad Foucher is only possible because of the depth of the relationship that has been built over the last 11 years.
“Russell Westbrook is the most important player in the brief history of the Oklahoma City Thunder. He has left an indelible mark on this team, city and state. None of us could have anticipated the player he has become, and we are all deeply proud of what he has contributed to the success of the franchise and to our community. Russell and his wife Nina, their three children, his brother and his parents will always remain part of the Thunder family. We wish them nothing but happiness and success in the future.”
Westbrook won the NBA MVP in 2017 with the Thunder and helped guide the franchise to the 2012 Finals along with Kevin Durant and James Harden.