Former Oklahoma State point guard John Lucas III has been signed to the Thunder's training camp roster. With the Thunder's roster standing at 14 players, one below the NBA maximum a team can carry into the regular season, Lucas will have the opportunity to make the team as its third-string point guard behind veteran Earl Watson and rookie Russell Westbrook.
"I'm just going to come in and try to contribute any way I can,” Lucas said. Lucas is expected to add competitiveness to training camp and preseason practices, but the Thunder also has the option to waive Lucas before the regular season if the team chooses to maintain roster flexibility by going into the regular season with an open roster spot. Lucas holds career averages of 3.1 points, 0.8 assists and 0.7 rebounds in 60 games, all with the Houston Rockets from 2005-07. The Rockets waived Lucas just before the start of the regular season last year. Lucas then spent the season playing in Italy. The Thunder also plans on adding Derrick Byars, a 6-foot-7 guard/forward from Vanderbilt, and Chris Alexander, a 7-1 center from Iowa State, to its training camp roster. Byars was the 42nd overall pick by Portland in the 2007 NBA Draft before being traded to Philadelphia. The 76ers released him just before the start of the regular season. Alexander played in the NBA D-League last year and in the Philippines.
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John Jameson, left, and Chip Livesay talk with Kevin Durant, center, and John Lucas III outside of the Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheater on Friday. The players were passing out Thunder Blue wristbands and helping collect non-perishable food items to aid victims of Hurrican Ike. By DOUG HOKE, THE OKLAHOMAN