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Darnell Mayberry: Thunder needs a swing forward in 2011 NBA Draft
The Oklahoman's Oklahoma City Thunder beat writer Darnell Mayberry answered questions from readers in today's Power Lunch chat. Read the entire chat recap here. Participate in our Power Lunch chats Monday-Friday at 11 a.m. at NewsOK.com/sports
On what position the OKC Thunder should draft Thursday night:
A swing forward would be nice. But a shooter/scorer who could pinch in off the bench could be a target as well.
On what he thinks the Thunder will do in the draft Thursday night:
Draft an international and stash him....Unless someone they like falls and feel is good enough to take one of the few roster spots available. In that cast they'll take him and be happy about it.
On whether James Harden will start for the Thunder next season:
Well, I can't make any guarantees because, you know, it's not my decision. But I have a hard time believing that with a full training camp (maybe...hopefully) that Brooks won't insert Harden into the first five. But a lot can depend on what happens Thursday night and in free agency (if the league has that period this summer). If the Thunder doesn't somehow come up with a few more scoring options off the bench, maybe Brooks doesn't feel comfortable starting Harden.
On center Byron Mullens' future with OKC:
I don't think they've given up on him. He's worked hard and has a good attitude. But there just isn't any room for him unless he takes a big jump in development this summer. Right now, Perk, Nazr and Aldrich are ahead of him at the center position. Not to mention Nick Collison's minutes at center. So with Mullens entering his third season and no longer being eligible for D-League duty, it's possible his time in a Thunder uniform has come to an end.
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