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James Harden leads a stacked Oklahoma City Thunder summer league roster

The Thunder should have the best roster at the Orlando Summer League, and that means another year of significant development.
By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, Modified: July 2, 2010 at 8:46 pm •  Published: July 2, 2010

Because the draft-night trade for No. 11 overall pick Cole Aldrich can't become official until July 8, the former Kansas center will not compete in Orlando.

Still, the stacked roster reflects just how committed the Thunder has been to a youth movement and building through the draft. But it also indicates how seriously OKC takes development over the summer.

Harden, who averaged 9.9 points, 3.2 rebounds, 1.8 assists and 1.0 steals in 76 games as a rookie, could have easily bypassed another session of summer school. Instead, he'll look to enhance his skills next week in an organized setting.

Harden, Maynor and Ibaka were all part of the Thunder's nine-man rotation as rookies. And though it would be unfair to expect each of them to return in 2010-11 showing the same level of improvement that Westbrook did in his second season, next week will provide the same opportunity for rapid growth.

"It'll give them more confidence, and the chemistry will build more and more with the new guys we have now," Durant said.

"Summer league really does help get you more and more comfortable with the NBA game. It was good for all our rookies last year and it'll be good for all our rookies coming in this year."