But he made the most of his D-League stints, averaging 21 points, 5.3 rebounds and three assists while playing 32.8 minutes per game in 21 contests, all starts.
“I embraced it,” Lamb said of his trips to Tulsa. “It made me better.”
Lamb could now be in line to be one of the Thunder's next big contributors.
Financial constraints could keep the Thunder from even offering Martin a contract extension. Any deal exceeding $3 million would put the Thunder into the treacherous tax threshold. Martin made roughly $12.5 million this season and is still a hot commodity, even if he's not worth quite as much these days.
If the Thunder seeks perimeter shooting to replace Martin, the team probably won't look any further than Lamb. He made 34.8 percent of his 3-pointers at UConn and made at least one 3 in 16 of his 21 regular-season appearances with the 66ers.
“He's got a lot of ability,” Collison said. “I think he's going to get better, obviously, in the future. He'll get better when he gets the opportunity to play. I think he can definitely help us in the future.”
Lamb wants to dedicate his summer to putting himself in the best position possible to be a contributor next year.
He'll spend most of his summer in Oklahoma City, working out with the coaching staff. He'll play in next month's Orlando Pro Summer League alongside the Thunder's other young players.
He wants to become a better playmaker and defender.
“Just do all you can to make yourself better because it's only going to help me as well as the team in the long run,” Lamb said.
Hard to say exactly when Lamb's time will come, though.
Could be next year. Could be another year.
“They just told me be patient,” Lamb said, “and my time will come.”