Morris Peterson: "I definitely want to be in Oklahoma City"

Morris Peterson's inclusion in a trade between the Thunder and Hornets may have been simply a money decision, but Peterson told The Oklahoman that he wants to play in Oklahoma City.
By Darnell Mayberry, Staff Writer, dmayberry@opubco.com Modified: June 26, 2010 at 12:03 am •  Published: June 25, 2010
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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.



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