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Is the Thunder's roster as deep as it appears?

An unproven center, a backup journeyman and two shooting guards at career crossroads. That's the collection of talent the Oklahoma City Thunder added this offseason.
by Darnell Mayberry Modified: September 29, 2010 at 8:39 pm •  Published: September 29, 2010

/articleid/3499789/1/pictures/1161033">Photo - Center Cole Aldrich is part of the Thunder's depth. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman
Center Cole Aldrich is part of the Thunder's depth. Photo by Nate Billings, The Oklahoman

Six-year veteran Royal Ivey, meanwhile, the Thunder's lone free agent signee, is a point guard who figures to see playing time only through someone else's misfortune.

Still, it wouldn't take much to convince anyone that the quartet is certainly more skilled than the foursome it replaced in Etan Thomas, Kyle Weaver, Kevin Ollie and Mustafa Shakur. And with 11 players returning more experienced and presumably better, coach Scott Brooks will have some difficult decisions to make if any of the new four prove deserving of even the slightest playing time.

"When you're a good team, that's what happens," Brooks said. "We have depth that's going to help us. It's going to help us get better in practice, and it's going to help us in the games. I think it's very healthy. It makes my decisions tough, but I'm looking forward to them. I'd rather have that decision than not have any players that can help you win."

Brooks has yet to settle on a rotation. But on the second day of training camp he said he already is contemplating units that he might go with. Brooks thinks his team's multiple interchangeable pieces will allow him to act and react based on any situation.

"Depth is always the best thing for a coach," Brooks said.

But how much better has it made the Thunder?

"It's too soon (to know)," Collison said. "I think what we do have is the energy and the concentration. Those are the two things that we can control every day and we need to have at a high level to get better. And I've seen that in the first two days."

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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