OKC Thunder: Sam Presti makes Dennis Schröder's Sixth Man case
Politicking for awards isn't in Sam Presti's comfort zone, but the Thunder general manager made his case Wednesday morning for Dennis Schröder to win Sixth Man of the Year.
"I think he’s playing the best basketball of his career," Presti said on a video conference. "He’s all about trying to do what’s right for the team right now, and he’s just an elite competitor. I’m happy that he’s playing so well, and I hope he does get recognized for it."
Schröder is averaging 19 points per game in what's been the most efficient season of the 26-year-old's career. He's drained 38.1% of his 3-point attempts while shooting better than 50% inside the arc. His offensive output has been complemented by improved defense.
Though Schröder is in contention for Sixth Man of the Year, he's regularly in the Thunder's closing lineup.
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"The thing with Dennis that doesn’t get enough recognition is his willingness to accept the role is in and of itself a tremendous quality," Presti said, "because he has the ability to be a starter and has been a starter."
Schröder started 161 games for the Hawks spanning his five seasons in Atlanta before being traded to Oklahoma City in July 2018.
Schröder will leave the Disney World bubble sometime in early August for the birth of his second child. He could miss several, if not most, of the Thunder's eight seeding games before the playoffs begin.
"Of course he should be there for that," Presti said. "That’s much more important than any basketball game at any point in time. We totally support him and we’ll work through the logistics of that with the league and make sure that we have a good plan for it."