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Nate Robinson not returning to Thunder

BY DARNELL MAYBERRY, Staff Writer, Modified: December 8, 2011 at 7:50 pm •  Published: December 8, 2011
On the day before players could show up for the start of training camps, the Oklahoma City Thunder officially lost its first body in part because of lingering effects caused by the NBA lockout.

On Friday afternoon, we'll discover how many more camp casualties the Thunder must add to its count.

Guard Nate Robinson became the first victim. The explosive 5-foot-9 reserve will not report to camp and could soon part ways with the team.

Thunder general manager Sam Presti and Robinson's agent, Aaron Goodwin, mutually agreed it would be best for Robinson to remain in his native Seattle rather than join the team. Robinson, who was acquired in the midseason trade that sent Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic to Boston in exchange for Kendrick Perkins, was faced with not being in coach Scott Brooks' rotation for a second season. Rather than force Robinson to join the team, all parties involved decided to split now while the two sides seek a long-term solution.

“They don't plan on using him in their rotation, and we wanted to see if we could find a better opportunity somewhere else,” Goodwin told The Oklahoman.

Because teams were prohibited from any contact whatsoever with players and agents throughout the 149-day lockout, the Thunder was unable to find a suitable situation over the summer. When the lockout was lifted, the organization became faced with finding an answer in a matter of days to a challenge that typically can take a three-month offseason to solve.

“In collaboration with Nate Robinson and his representatives, we have mutually agreed to continue working toward clarifying his future status with the Thunder,” the team announced in a statement Thursday night on behalf of Presti. “Nate is an accomplished player, but with the current composition of our roster, it will be unlikely he will have an opportunity to contribute on a nightly basis.

“Given the compressed period of time that we have been given to work through the current situation, it has been decided that Nate will not attend training camp while we work with his representatives to resolve the situation. We will not be commenting on this subject further but will provide notification when a resolution is reached.”

Friday marks the first day NBA teams are permitted to sign players to contracts or complete trades. The sudden signing period, however has created loads of confusion if not complete chaos.

Restricted free agent Daequan Cook could be forced to miss the start of camp, as well as rookie Reggie Jackson, the 24th overall pick.

The Thunder has been in discussions with Cook's representatives about a contract extension.

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