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Nenad Krstic to Oklahoma City?
by: Jonathan Givony - President
December 19, 2008
Nenad Krstic is close to signing a 3-year, 16 million dollar contract with the Oklahoma City Thunder, multiple sources in the US and Europe told DraftExpress.com.

The 7-foot Serbian center is currently under contract with Russian team Triumph Moscow (after signing a two year, six million Euro deal this summer), but will be able to buy himself out of his deal due to his displeasure with his current situation.

Krstic will reportedly give back all the money he received from Triumph so far this season in order to break the contract, although Oklahoma City will be able to contribute $500,000 under NBA rules if needed.



Triumph made a huge splash on the European market this past summer with the very expensive signings of Krstic, J.R. Bremer (valuable thanks to his Bosnian passport), Marcus Goree, Kerem Tunceri and Alan Andersonóbut has been suffering through an extremely disappointing campaign on virtually all fronts thus far.

The team was bounced out of the first round of the EuroCup (formerly ULEB Cup) qualifiers after losing to lowly Oostende from Belgium Ėcurrently 3-8 in their domestic league-- which relegated them to the far less desirable EuroChallenge. They are just 2-2 in their group in that competition thus far, and are not a lock to qualify for the next round.

They also have been eliminated from the Russian cup, and are just 3-5 in league play thus far. With such a large financial strain being put on the teamís sponsors due to their massive budget, it has become clear that this current roster cannot justify the cost.

Removing Krstic from the books will help on that frontóhe is expected to be replaced by Maccabi Tel Avivís Esteban Batista (who shares the same agent, Marc Cornstein, with Krstic) shortly, while swingman Alan Anderson is likely on the way out too.

Krstic was averaging 10.4 points and 5.1 rebounds in 22 minutes per game for Triumph, but was reportedly unhappy with his role and situation living on the outskirts of Moscow.

Although they are currently not behind on payments to any of their players, the team may run into trouble fulfilling the terms of his large contract in the future, and thus a compromise has been reached.

This is an out of the box move by Sam Presti and the Oklahoma City Thunder, currently sporting the leagueís worst record at 2-24.

The team ranks dead last in the NBA in offensive efficiency, and is getting next to nothing out of its centers, with designated starter Johan Petro shooting a dismal 40% from the field. Robert Swift has been perpetually injured, and Nick Collison and Chris Wilcox are both suffering through their worst seasons in quite some time.

Krstic will give the Thunder something closer to the post-presence the team has been searching for-- or at least thatís the hope. He looks to be in better shape than he was last season in New Jersey, and may finally be shaking off the rust caused from tearing his ACL in December of 2006, when he was averaging 16.4 points and 6.8 rebounds per game.

The 25-year old has a big body and can operate with his back to the basket, where he can create his own shot, while also proving to be a solid passer with a nice feel for the game. He has good hands and a decent mid-range jumper, but is a below average athlete and rebounder.

With almost nothing in the ways of long-term contracts on Oklahoma Cityís books, Krstic is unlikely to be a burden on their cap at the price he is signing for.

Itís important to note that Krstic is currently a restricted free agent, with his NBA rights still held by the New Jersey Nets. With the Nets having 15 guaranteed contracts on their roster, and a deep frontline (with seven players who are either power forwards or centers), itís expected that they will not match Oklahoma Cityís offer sheet. The team is trying to maintain as much cap space as possible for the summer of 2010, and the third year on Krsticís deal would hinder them in that regard.

The team is in a big financial crunch, as shares of Nets owner Bruce Ratnerís company, Forest City Enterprises, have fallen 92% in a year and a half, from $70 to just under 6$, and the team has laid off employees (even in the front office) as recently as last week. Forest City reported losses of 30 million dollars on the Nets over the first nine months of 2008. A number of articles released recently again put in question the feasibility of the Atlantic Yards project, which would move the Nets to Brooklyn in 2011.

Messages left for Sam Presti, Rod Thorn, and Krsticís agent Marc Cornstein were not returned.
 


Feedback for this article may be sent to jonathan@draftexpress.com .

 

J.R. Bremer
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 2"
Weight: 188 lbs.
Birthday: 09/19/1980
34 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Cleveland Heights
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G
Quick Stats:
9.2 Pts, 2.2 Rebs, 3.5 Asts


Marcus Goree
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 8"
Weight: 239 lbs.
Birthday: 10/11/1977
37 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Hillcrest
Previous Team: Triumph Moscow , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
11.2 Pts, 5.2 Rebs, 1.6 Asts


Alan Anderson
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 6"
Weight: 223 lbs.
Birthday: 10/18/1982
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: De La Salle
Previous Team: Nets , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: SG/SF,
NBA: SG/SF,
Possible: SG/SF
Quick Stats:
4.6 Pts, 2.5 Rebs, 0.6 Asts


Esteban Batista
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 268 lbs.
Birthday: 09/02/1983
31 Years Old
Teams:
High School:
Previous Team: Panathinaikos , PRO
Drafted: Undrafted in Draft
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
12.5 Pts, 5.3 Rebs, 0.3 Asts


Johan Petro
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 0"
Weight: 260 lbs.
Birthday: 01/27/1986
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: INSEP
Previous Team: Pau-Orthez , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #25 in 2005 Draft
by the Supersonics
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: PF/C
Quick Stats:
4.8 Pts, 2.8 Rebs, 0.8 Asts


Robert Swift
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 7' 1"
Weight: 245 lbs.
Birthday: 12/03/1985
28 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Bakersfield
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #12 in 2004 Draft
by the Supersonics
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
2.5 Pts, 6.0 Rebs, 0.5 Asts


Nick Collison
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 10"
Weight: 255 lbs.
Birthday: 10/26/1980
34 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Iowa Falls
Previous Team: Thunder , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #12 in 2003 Draft
by the Supersonics
Positions:
Current: PF,
NBA: PF,
Possible: PF
Quick Stats:
4.9 Pts, 3.9 Rebs, 1.6 Asts


Chris Wilcox
Full Profile | Player Stats
Physicals
Height: 6' 9"
Weight: 218 lbs.
Birthday: 08/03/1982
32 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Enloe
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #8 in 2002 Draft
by the Clippers
Positions:
Current: C,
NBA: C,
Possible: C
Quick Stats:
Pts, Rebs, Asts


Rod Thorn
Full Profile
Physicals
Height: 6' 4"
Weight: 195 lbs.
Birthday: 05/23/1941
73 Years Old
Teams:
High School: Princeton
Previous Team: , PRO
Drafted: Rnd 1, Pick #2 in 1963 Draft
by the Bullets
Positions:
Current: G,
NBA: G,
Possible: G


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