The Oklahoman's staff writers discuss three topics surrounding Jeremy Lamb.
1. The Thunder thinks Jeremy Lamb is a big-time prospect. Is the Thunder right, wrong or crazy?
Darnell Mayberry: Absolutely right. This guy is young, explosive and a tremendous shooter. Best of all, he seems to have the desire to get better and be out there contributing.
John Rohde: It's impossible to know at this point. Given how he did with the Tulsa 66ers, the Thunder seems to be more right than the other two.
Berry Tramel: None of the above. Hopeful is the proper answer. Nobody knows how Jeremy Lamb will play when given a real chance. And it's time he's given that chance. The Thunder was so good so fast, it had a bunch of young cornerstones and thus surrounded its core with more veteran guys, like Thabo (Sefolosha) and (Nick) Collison and (Kendrick) Perkins and eventually Derek Fisher. Lost in that process was giving the next wave of young players a chance. Guys like Reggie Jackson his rookie year, and Lamb his rookie year. But just as Jackson bloomed when given a chance, it's time to give Lamb a chance.
2. Should Lamb have played more?
Mayberry: No doubt about it. He didn't have to be a fixture in the rotation. But giving the guy spot minutes could have really helped his development and prepared him for the playoffs, when his perimeter shooting would have come in handy following Russell Westbrook's injury. Playing him only 147 minutes all season was absurd. Surely a 60-win team could have carved out more time than that. On a larger scale, if management must spend wisely going forward and develop organically now more than ever, the coaching staff must now unleash the young players more often to have them ready when the games matter most.
Rohde: Perhaps, but if you're talking about the postseason, there would have been tremendous pressure. There were times he struggled under zero pressure with the game already well in hand.
Tramel: Yes. I would have stuck him out there and found out how far along he is. Now, we don't know. Lamb might be ready to play meaningful minutes, he might still need development or he might be a bust. The Thunder doesn't know. Every minute more he could have played last season would have been one step closer to finding the truth.
3. What's your biggest concern about Lamb potentially becoming a rotation player next season?
Mayberry: Whether he can compete on both ends. We know he's a sharp shooter. But does he have a secondary option when his shot is taken away from him? Can he put the ball on the floor? Can he create his own shot? At the other end, can he defend? Can he mentally stay in the game when things aren't going his way? I believe in Lamb. I just haven't seen nearly enough to know the answer to these questions.
Rohde: An early lack of confidence. Replacing James Harden/Kevin Martin is an awesome responsibility. A slow start to the season would only make it more difficult.
Tramel: I assume he can't guard anybody. First off, he weighs about 95 pounds soaking wet. But if you can shoot, you'll always get a chance.