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Darnell Mayberry: Harden trade was no mistake

The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry took questions from readers in today's OKC Thunder Power Lunch Chat. Here's a look at the Q&A.
Oklahoman Modified: March 25, 2013 at 3:39 pm •  Published: March 25, 2013

The Oklahoman's Darnell Mayberry took questions from readers in today's Oklahoma City Thunder Power Lunch Chat. Join our Power Lunch Chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. on Here's a recap of today's Q&A:

Are you at that point where you can say that the Harden trade was a mistake?

No. I will never say that. I can question if they should have traded somebody else or amnestied someone. But I will never say it was a mistake. This team would have been blown up in two years had he re-signed. And even if he did, the Harden you're seeing in Houston is not the same Harden you would have seen on the Thunder. People need to get that through their heads.

As of right now, who do you think plays Miami in the Finals?


Seeing how Martin has struggled, do you think the Thunder will resign him? Do you think they should resign him?

He's shooting a career-high from 3-point range. I wouldn't call that struggling. But as everyone knows by now, or should, it's going to be a matter of money. If Martin's asking price is reasonable the Thunder will bring him back.

Of the Thunder’s rookies, which do you see making an impact on the court next season?

Kevin Durant raved about Jeremy Lamb the other day. He said Lamb would be a big contributor next year. I think it all depends on whether K-Mart comes back.

Which free agents would you like to see the Thunder go after and why during this off season?

Haven't really thought in those terms. J.J. Redick could be a fit as a floor stretcher. But, again, the price would have to be right. Truthfully, though, there is so much talent at the end of the bench and so many great players/important pieces in the current rotation that free agency is merely a fantasy at this point.

Do you see the Thunder offering Derek Fisher a coaching position if he retires? Seems the Thunder love what he brings to the table despite his diminishing game.

It's possible. But I'm not sure Fish wants to coach so soon after his playing days.

Do you think the Thunder could lure any big name free agents? Do you think Oklahoma City (the city itself and the organization) appeals to outsiders?

Don't have the money. But, yes, with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook having turned this franchise into a winner, people will want to play here.

Is Jeremy Lamb coming back?

Yes. Lamb is under contract for another three seasons.

Is it fair to say that Ibaka getting open midrange shots is a barometer for how well the Thunder is moving the ball? If not, what's the biggest indicator, if any?

Not really. Ibaka could just be benefiting from a simple pick-and-pop with Westbrook, which also is the reason Westbrook's assists numbers sometimes don't show how he truly is or is not moving the ball. I think Sefolosha's 3-point attempts are a decent indicator, although those can be a bit misleading as well. For example, if the guards are just driving and kicking, that's one pass and a shot. So there's no one real thing that is a good indicator. You just have to watch the game and judge for yourself really.

You really got after Brooks in your recent nuggets. It seems most everyone would agree with your reasoning. Do you think the current Fisher PT issue will keep the Thunder from making the Finals again?

I don't think it's that serious, and I'm not trying to "go after" anyone. Just pointing out observations. Brooks just happens to be the man pulling the strings.

Do you think the Jackson/Fisher situation has anything to do with future contract negotiations? Possibly trying to limit his success to drive his resigning price down? I just can't find a logical reason at this point.

I've given up trying to understand it.

Am I the only one who thinks Maynor walking away for nothing would've been better than signing Fisher?

He did essentially walk away for nothing. The Thunder got a trade exception out of it, which the team may or may not use.

How many rings does Jeremy Lamb have?

College: 1. NBA: 0. Pinky: unknown.

Do you think the success that the Reggie Jackson/Russell Westbrook backcourt lineup has yielded in the last week or so will finally get through to Brooks that Reggie is a better option than Fisher to close out games?

I've stopped giving Brooks the benefit of the doubt when it comes to these things. He's a "feel" coach, and that seems to win out over obvious results.

If you’re guessing, who won’t be on the Thunder’s roster next season that is right now?


Thabeet hasn't been too bad this season. Do you think the future looks brighter for him after this season than prior? Maybe a decent starter somewhere someday?

He's still extremely foul prone. Not sure how much he can ever be relied on to be a starter. But, yes, his future looks brighter today than it did in October. I think we all forget the guy just turned 26. He's still got plenty of time to grow.

It’s a shame that Scott Brooks doesn’t give Derek Fisher’s minutes to Lamb.

I still have doubts about whether Lamb is ready. Frankly, I don't think he is. But playing Fisher over, in order, Thabo Sefolosha, Reggie Jackson and Ronnie Brewer, that's just madness.

Do you travel with the team to away games or are you on your own?

I'm on my own. Always have been. Always will be.

What's it going to take to get Brooks to trust these young guys like Reggie and Lamb more?

Oh, I'd say 17 years and five championships.

I see a lot of people say that Derek Fisher is taking away from Reggie Jackson’s minutes, but I really think he might be taking away from DeAndre Liggins. I think Jackson, Liggins and Kevin Martin keep a good balance of offense/defense that Fisher at SG lacks. Watched the 66ers game and Liggins has more offensive game then I thought.

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by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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