The spotlight has shone on Thunder All-Star small forward Kevin Durant the entire offseason, for everything from becoming the youngest NBA scoring champ, to being MVP on the gold-medal-winning Team USA at the FIBA World Championship in Turkey, to being this year's projected league MVP, to leading the Thunder to new heights in the postseason.
But who on the Thunder roster is Durant excited about? Which teammate does he believe might surprise people?
His answer was shooting guard Daequan Cook, who was acquired from Miami last June along with the No. 18 draft choice in a salary dump move by the Heat in exchange for the 32nd pick.
"People kind of forgot about him," Durant said of the 23-year-old Cook. "I think he's ready. Preseason, he's shown flashes. He'd stay in the game 12-13 minutes and put up 14-16 points. That's what we're going to need coming off the bench on offense. On defense, he brings it, too. People forgot about him, I think during the season they're going to know who he is."
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Cook "brings a tremendous shot to our team. He has the ability to make 3s and make them in bunches. It remains to be seen how much playing time he will get. We have a good team with a lot of good pieces. We're deep in a lot of positions, so guys that don't play, it's not because they can't play. There's only so many minutes to go around. Daequan brings something to our team that we like. He can spread the floor and make shots."
A former NBA point guard, Brooks has an appreciation for opening night, both as a player and coach.
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