OKC Thunder: Keep an eye on Jeremy Lamb in summer league

Five games in Orlando might not tell the whole story, but they will show how much the shooting guard has improved since he was acquired from Houston.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 6, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma City's Jeremy Lamb (11) drives past Milwaukee's John Henson (31) during the season finale NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Milwaukee Bucks at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Oklahoma City, Okla.   Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Jeremy Lamb (11) drives past Milwaukee's John Henson (31) during the season finale NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and the Milwaukee Bucks at Chesapeake Energy Arena on Wednesday, April 17, 2013, in Oklahoma City, Okla. Photo by Chris Landsberger, The Oklahoman

There's a saying in NBA circles.

It's one that begins to circulate during this time of the year.

It's a multipurpose expression, one that essentially eliminates excitement when players perform well as well as couches criticisms when they don't.

“It's summer league.”

No matter what happens in the 2013 Orlando Pro Summer League, a five-game slate of games which the Thunder opens Sunday, that's the phrase coaches, and even players, will regurgitate all week.

But it'll be hard to contain excitement or disappointment for Jeremy Lamb.

Most will be watching the second-year shooting guard with a keen eye. He was one of the five assets the Thunder received in the trade that sent James Harden to Houston. And with Kevin Martin set to sign with Minnesota, Lamb is expected to now be a larger part of the team's plans this season.

Is he ready?

Summer league will provide our first indication.

It will be Lamb's first summer with the Thunder. He competed with the Rockets' summer league team last year.

Following the preseason trade, Lamb appeared in only 23 games with the Thunder as a rookie, mostly mop-up minutes. He averaged 3.1 points, 0.8 rebounds and 0.2 assists in 6.4 minutes. Many could see Lamb's perimeter shooting ability, but the sparse minutes led to questions about how good he really is and whether he was worth trading Harden.

“I think he can definitely help us in the future,” Thunder forward Nick Collison said of Lamb in May. “Outsiders, they see a guy not playing and they think he can't play. That's not necessarily the case when you come onto a team that's kind of got a rotation set. We saw that with Reggie (Jackson). He was in the D-League last year. Now, he's playing really good in the playoffs. People just have to have more patience.”


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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