Morris Peterson is making his preference known.
He wants to come and play for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Peterson, who was acquired as part of the draft-night trade that will bring Kansas center Cole Aldrich to town, is hoping to provide veteran leadership to Oklahoma City's stable of young talent.
"This is a great situation," Peterson told The Oklahoman via telephone Friday night. "I watched the Thunder all this year grow as a team and make that run in the playoffs. So to be traded there is an honor because I've watched those guys and how hard they work and how close they are as a team."
Because the Thunder is using salary cap space to acquire Aldrich and the remaining $6.6 million of Peterson's contract, league rules prevent the trade from being completed until July 8, when the moratorium is lifted and that space becomes available. Both teams are prohibited from discussing the deal until that time.
To obtain Aldrich, the Thunder was forced to take on Peterson's contract from the cost-cutting Hornets in exchange for the 21st and 26th selections in Thursday night's NBA Draft. Many viewed Peterson as simply a necessary throw-in to the deal and a likely candidate to be bought out before the start of training camp similar to Earl Watson last summer, or allowed to not report a la Matt Harping following the mid-season trade that brought Eric Maynor from Utah.
Peterson, however, is making his case to stick around.
"I definitely want to be in Oklahoma City," Peterson said. "They've got great fan support, a class organization. And they're a team that's on the rise and I feel like I can come and give them some veteran leadership and help with my basketball skills."
Peterson, who'll turn 33 in August, holds career averages of 10.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists. He's a career 37.4 percent shooter from 3-point range. His best year came in Toronto during the 2005-06 season when he averaged 16.8 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.3 assists.
"I feel like I have to play with a chip on my shoulder just from the simple fact that I still feel like I have a lot to prove," Peterson said. "I think the last couple of years people have kind of questioned a little bit whether I can play how I did when I was in Toronto. I think that this system in Oklahoma fits my style and I feel like I can get the job done."