Sam Presti wrote an open letter published in The Oklahoman addressing the future of the Oklahoma City Thunder after trading Russell Westbrook.
Presti wrote of the team transitioning into a new phase while emphasizing their commitment to the city.
"This summer, the story of the Oklahoma City Thunder is transitioning to a new phase. Over the last few weeks, we have parted ways with foundational players — people who have represented our city to the world, who have sacrificed for us and flourished on our behalf. Although this has been painful, I also believe that — given the circumstances — it was necessary. In saying goodbye to the past, we have begun to chart our future. The next great Thunder team is out there somewhere, but it will take time to seize and discipline to ultimately sustain," wrote Presti.
Presti also addressed the difficulty of building a team in a small market.
"Despite our city’s rapid rise and growth, Oklahoma City remains the second-smallest market in the NBA. While this brings many benefits, it also poses strategic challenges. Given the way the league’s system is designed, small market teams operate with significant disadvantages. There is no reason to pretend otherwise. This in no way means we cannot be extraordinarily successful — we, and several other small to mid-market teams, are our own best examples of the ability to overcome these realities," added Presti.