The Thunder has found its backup to Kevin Durant.
Oklahoma City has acquired small forward Lazar Hayward, the 30th overall pick in the 2010 draft, from Minnesota in exchange for Robert Vaden and two conditional second round picks.
Hayward played 42 games last season, averaging 3.8 points and 1.7 rebounds in 10 minutes per game.
A native of Buffalo, N.Y., Hayward has quickly established a reputation for being tough and team-oriented. He struggled to get minutes with the Wolves last season having a logjam at the forward spot with Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson, Martell Webster, Corey Brewer, Anthony Randolph, Anthony Tolliver and Kevin Love. With Minnesota drafting Derrick Williams out of Arizona with the No. 2 overall pick, Hayward was faced with seeing less court time in Minnesota this season.
With the Thunder, Hayward isn’t likely to stand out. But the 6-foot-6, 225-pound swingman has a chance to garner at least the same 10 minutes a night as he did last season. Hayward adds size and shooting to the Thunder’s bench and could be another low-risk, high-reward player acquisition that provides meaningful minutes behind Durant.
Vaden, the 54th overall pick in the 2009 draft, ended the season with the Thunder but did not appear in a game. He averaged 10.4 points in 45 games with the Tulsa 66ers last season.