Sam Presti is entering his 11th season with the Oklahoma City Thunder after being named the 11th General Manager in club history on June 7, 2007 at 29 years old. A year into his tenure with the Thunder, Presti was promoted to Executive Vice President and General Manager by Professional Basketball Club Chairman, Clayton I. Bennett.
During his 10-plus seasons with the Thunder, Presti has worked diligently to assemble the building blocks for long term success both on and off the court. Dating back to the start of the 2009-10 season, Presti and his staff have watched the Thunder amass the second-best record in the NBA during this span (behind only San Antonio).
Under Presti’s guidance, within the first nine years of their existence, the Thunder has captured five Northwest Division Championships, reached the Conference Finals on four occasions, including the team’s trip to the NBA Finals in 2012. Additionally, the Thunder is one of only three teams to finish with a record of .500 or better in each of the last eight seasons.
Throughout his tenure, Presti has led with consistent philosophies and values, but has used a diversity of roster building techniques to sustain several cycles of the Thunder. Over the last decade, Presti and his staff have enjoyed success with respect to the NBA Draft, beginning with the 2007 selection of Kevin Durant with the 2nd overall pick. Presti went on to draft Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka in 2008 with the 4th and 24th selections, respectively before taking James Harden with the 3rd overall pick in 2009. Other notable draft selections for Presti include Reggie Jackson with 24th pick in 2011 and the 2013 draft, where he selected franchise cornerstones in Steven Adams with the 12th overall pick and Andre Roberson with the 24th selection.
This past summer Presti completed a pair of landmark trades as the Thunder acquired four-time All-Star Paul George from the Indiana Pacers and 10-time All-Star Carmelo Anthony from the New York Knicks.
Under Presti’s guidance, the Thunder advanced to the postseason in seven of the last eight seasons including five straight years (2010-2014) and at the conclusion 2012-13 season, Oklahoma City became just the second team in NBA history (Boston Celtics; 1955-1960) to increase its winning percentage for five consecutive seasons (while maintaining a winning percentage of .700 or better in two of those seasons). Dating back to the 2011-12 season, the Thunder became Western Conference Champions on the heels of the 2010-11 season in which the Thunder became the youngest team in the prior quarter century to reach the NBA’s Western Conference Finals.
During the 2009-10 season, Oklahoma City experienced one of the largest turnarounds in NBA history. A year after winning 23 games, the Thunder concluded the 2009-10 season with a 50-32 record (.610) and captured the franchise’s first playoff berth in Oklahoma City. The 27-win improvement was tied for the eighth largest improvement in NBA history. Presti was named NBA Executive of the Year by The Sporting News at the conclusion of the season.
Since moving to Oklahoma City in July of 2008, Presti has stressed the importance of community involvement for both Thunder players and staff. Under his leadership, Thunder players have made more than 2,200 community appearances in and around Oklahoma City. Presti has also made it policy for every new player and staff member to tour the Oklahoma City Memorial and Museum soon after joining the organization.
At the request of former NBA Commissioner David Stern and then Deputy Commissioner Adam Silver, Presti was named to the league’s first ever Competition Committee in May of 2012. During his term, which will be completed at the end of the 2017-18 campaign, Presti was a part of the committee that enacted several rule changes, such as concussion protocol, a package of rules to increase game flow, player rest policies, anti-flopping rules, deliberate away from the play fouls, modifications to playoff seeding, qualification and tie-breakers, and adjustments to the NBA Finals scheduling format. Additionally, Presti was asked to serve on the NBA’s Instant Replay Committee in 2009, which helped to lay the groundwork for rules changes that the Competition Committee would later make regarding instant replay expansion and the expanded use of the replay center.
Prior to joining the Thunder, Presti held a variety of roles with the San Antonio Spurs. After starting in 2000 as a video intern for Gregg Popovich, Presti moved up through the front office ranks in San Antonio before being elevated to the position of Vice President and Assistant General Manager. As a member of the Spurs, Presti was part of NBA Championship teams in 2003, 2005 and 2007, as well as five division titles.
Presti earned his bachelor’s degree in 2000 in communications, politics and law and a minor in psychology from Emerson College in Boston, where he was the first Rhodes Scholar nominee in school history. The Concord, Mass. native served as team captain of the Emerson College basketball team during both his junior and senior seasons. In addition, Presti earned All-Academic honors two times and was twice selected to the Great Northeast Athletic Conference All-Tournament team. He was honored with the Emerson College Young Alumnus Award in 2005. Presti has also completed Harvard University’s Continuing Education program on leadership and decision making.
Presti currently resides on the board of the Oklahoma City National Memorial and served as chairman of the Oklahoma Standard campaign, a movement built on the foundation of resilience, compassion, consistent acts of honor, service and kindness. In addition, he is also a member of the Oklahoma City Civic Center Board.
With the support of the Thunder, Presti has established the Forward Thinking Leadership Development Program within the Oklahoma City public schools. Presti has also spearheaded an initiative in collaboration with the University of Pennsylvania to bring resiliency and optimism training to local Oklahoma City area youth. Additionally, Presti is actively involved with PeacePlayers International (PPI), a global outreach program focused on bringing children and communities together through the game of basketball. He also serves on the Board of Directors of Shooting Touch, an organization that grants graduating college seniors the opportunity to travel the world and use the platform of basketball to help foster education and influence positive social change in third world global communities.
In 2016 Presti was awarded the Humanitarian Award from the Oklahoma Center for Community and Justice due to his work in the area of diversity and inclusion in the workplace. Additionally, he was named the 2016 Oklahoman of the Year by Oklahoma Magazine. Presti was recognized as Oklahoma City University’s 2012-13 recipient of the Abe Lemons/Paul Hansen Award for Sports Excellence and he also won the Oklahoma March of Dimes Sports Headliner Special Award for 2013.
An accomplished drummer, Presti has produced three music CDs with all proceeds benefiting the Extra Ordinary Needs Fund at Children’s Hospital in Boston. Also, Presti established the Keenan Smith-Anthony Halls Scholarship Fund at his former high school, Concord-Carlisle, to assist underserved students with their college tuition.
Presti and his wife, Shannon, have a son, Nicholas Rubin. Shannon continues to serve as the Director of Teen Leadership Initiatives for the YMCA of Greater Oklahoma City.
Troy Weaver | Vice President of Basketball Operations
Troy Weaver begins his 10th season with Oklahoma City and his first at the team’s Vice President of Basketball Operations. Weaver spent the previous seven seasons serving as the Thunder’s Vice President/Assistant General Manager. Weaver joined the Thunder in May of 2008 and assists General Manager Sam Presti with roster development and day-to-day basketball operations. In addition, he coordinates the team’s player personnel matters including NBA Draft preparation, player free agency and summer league roster.
Weaver held the position of director of player personnel for the Utah Jazz in 2007-08. He spent three seasons (2004-07) as head scout for the Jazz before his promotion to director of player personnel.
Prior to joining the Jazz, Weaver was an assistant coach at Syracuse University for four seasons (2000-04). The Orangemen won the 2003 NCAA National Championship led by Weaver recruit Carmelo Anthony. In addition to his experience at Syracuse, Weaver spent time as an assistant coach at New Mexico (1999-2000) and Pittsburgh (1996-99).
Prior to his collegiate coaching days, Weaver amassed an 85-17 record as an AAU coach in Washington, D.C. He guided the DC Assault to the 1996 AAU Tournament of Champions.
Weaver graduated with an associate’s degree from Prince George’s Community College (MD) in 1991, where he also played one season of basketball.
Rob Hennigan | Vice President of Insight & Foresight
Rob Hennigan returns to the Thunder front office after spending the past five seasons as the General Manager of the Orlando Magic. In his current role with the Thunder, Hennigan will oversee key functions that include Strategic Planning, Data Science & Solutions and Information Management & Counsel.
During Hennigan’s previous tenure in Oklahoma City (2008-2012), he helped lead a turnaround that saw Oklahoma City go from a 23-win team in 2008-09 to a spot in the NBA Finals in 2012. He most recently served as the team’s Assistant General Manager/Player Personnel.
Prior to joining the Thunder, Hennigan spent four seasons with the San Antonio Spurs. He was named Director of Basketball Operations in September of 2007 after starting with the organization as an intern during the 2004-05 season. The Spurs won the NBA World Championship in 2004-05 and 2006-07.
A native of Worcester, Mass., Hennigan graduated with a degree in broadcast journalism from Emerson College in 2004. He was named a Division III All-American, an Academic All-American as a senior and at the conclusion of his collegiate career, Hennigan finished as Emerson’s all-time leading scorer.
Will Dawkins | Vice President of Identification & Intelligence
Will Dawkins begins his 10th year with the Thunder organization and his first as the team’s Vice President of Identification & Intelligence. During Dawkins’ 10 seasons, he has served in varying capacities including front office intern, assistant video coordinator, scouting coordinator and the previous five seasons as the team’s Director of College Player Personnel.
In his current capacity, Dawkins is responsible for overseeing the professional and amateur evaluation departments both domestically and internationally. He also works closely with the Insight and Foresight department.
A native of Springfield, MA Dawkins led the High School of Commerce to the 2004 Division I State Championship, while earning the honor of Western Massachusetts Player of the Year. He went on to graduate from Emerson College with a degree in Broadcast Journalism. While at Emerson he served as captain of the men’s basketball team and became a two time Arthur Ashe Sports Scholar All American. In 2015 he was inducted into the Springfield Massachusetts Sports Hall of Fame.
Dawkins, his wife, Tara and their one-year-old son “Trey” currently reside in Edmond.