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Michael Ruffin, three others invited to Thunder training camp

By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer Published: September 23, 2009
Former Tulsa standout Michael Ruffin is one of several free agents who have received an invitation to the Thunder’s training camp, which opens next Tuesday.

NBA Fanhouse first reported that the Thunder will sign Ruffin and Ryan Bowen, two nine-year veteran power forwards, to non-guaranteed contracts. The Oklahoman also has learned that Tre Kelley and Michael Harris are among at least two other players who are expected to join Ruffin and Bowen in training camp.

Harris, a 6-foot-6, 240-pound forward, played at Rice and had a brief stint with Houston at the end of last season. Kelley is a 6-foot point guard who was a three-year starter at South Carolina.

Oklahoma City has 14 guaranteed contracts, and the quartet is expected to fight for the final roster spot throughout October’s preseason schedule.

Ruffin, Bowen and Harris are all known as hard workers who could add beef to the Thunder’s frontcourt in emergency situations and provide a high level of competition in practice. The Thunder is set to enter the season with a solid rotation of Jeff Green, Nick Collison, Nenad Krstic and Etan Thomas at the power forward and center positions.

But there is only young, inexperienced talent after that in D.J. White, Serge Ibaka and Byron Mullens.