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Oklahoma City Thunder: Jeremy Lamb can go a long way toward making James Harden trade look better

The referendum on the James Harden trade continues, with the subject coming up frequently during NBA Draft coverage. But the reality is, we still don't know what the Thunder got for Harden — but we're soon to start finding out. And that starts with Jeremy Lamb.
by Jenni Carlson Modified: June 29, 2013 at 1:00 pm •  Published: June 29, 2013
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photo - Oklahoma City's Jeremy Lamb (11) takes the ball past Charlotte's Hakim Warrick (21) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Charlotte Bobcats at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. Oklahoma City won, 114-69. Photo by Nate Billings , The Oklahoman
Oklahoma City's Jeremy Lamb (11) takes the ball past Charlotte's Hakim Warrick (21) during an NBA basketball game between the Oklahoma City Thunder and Charlotte Bobcats at Chesapeake Energy Arena in Oklahoma City, Monday, Nov. 26, 2012. Oklahoma City won, 114-69. Photo by Nate Billings , The Oklahoman

The referendum on the James Harden trade continues.

If you watched any of ESPN's coverage of the NBA Draft on Thursday night, you heard plenty of talk about the nearly year-old deal. Bill Simmons especially prattled on and on about it. How Oklahoma City should've kept Harden. How the Thunder let him go to Houston for nothing.

On the first point, Simmons has apparently forgotten that Young James was the one who ultimately said no to a deal with the Thunder.

And the second point simply isn't true.

The reality is, we still don't know what the Thunder got for Harden — but we're soon to start finding out.

And that starts with Jeremy Lamb.

Sure, everyone is talking now about the players who the Thunder drafted Thursday night, prime among them Steven Adams. The 7-foot New Zealander is an intriguing prospect. Could he be the center of the future? Could he turn into the scoring big man that Thunder fans so crave? Will he make good on the No. 12 selection, a pick acquired from Toronto via Houston in the Harden deal?

Honestly, the answers to those questions are years away.

But we're much closer to knowing the impact that Lamb will have on this franchise.

The shooting guard had little influence last season, but cut him some slack. He was a rookie who arrived in Oklahoma City as part of the Harden trade right before the start of the season. That meant no offseason workouts, no summer league and no training camp with the Thunder.

Add that to a roster that was stacked, and the equation equaled no playing time.

Lamb saw only mop-up duty with the Thunder and spent much of the season in the D-League with the 66ers.

But if you haven't seen any of Lamb's highlights from those games, do yourself a favor, go to YouTube and check him out. You will like what you see.

Lamb has this sweet jump shot. So pretty. So smooth. And he can get to the hoop and create his own shot.

Against D-League competition, he dominated, averaging 21.0 points a game.

If Lamb can score half that for the Thunder next season, Sam Presti might cartwheel from the practice facility to the arena on Broadway Extension.

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by Jenni Carlson
Columnist
Jenni Carlson, a sports columnist at The Oklahoman since 1999, came by her love of sports honestly. She grew up in a sports-loving family in Kansas. Her dad coached baseball and did color commentary on the radio for the high school football...
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