Lost in the creativity of Saturday's blockbuster trade with Houston was the fact Thunder general manager Sam Presti traded away two team-option decisions when he dealt center Cole Aldrich and forward Lazar Hayward to the Rockets.
The only remaining decision was whether to exercise the option of second-year guard Reggie Jackson, and Presti announced he did so on Monday.
The move guarantees Jackson a salary of $1.33 million for the 2013-14 season.
The 24th overall pick in the 2011 NBA Draft, Jackson averaged 3.1 points, 1.6 assists, 1.2 rebounds and 11.1 minutes in 45 games last year during a rookie season where he was thrown into the backup point guard role after reserve Eric Maynor suffered a season-ending knee injury on Jan. 7.
A 6-foot-3, 208-pounder out of Boston College, Jackson was named to the All-Summer League second team in Orlando after averaging 15.3 points, a team-leading 3.5 assists, 3.3 rebounds and 26.4 minutes in four games.
Thunder coach Scott Brooks said Jackson and Maynor are battling for the backup point guard position this year.
The Thunder's first preseason game was a 107-105 loss to the Houston Rockets on Oct. 10 in Hidalgo, Texas. Newly acquired Kevin Martin played 9:23 against OKC and had 11 points, while wide-eyed rookie guard Jeremy Lamb played 24:03 and had 12 points and eight rebounds.
After his first practice with the Thunder, Lamb admitted Monday he is still a bit awed about being in the NBA.
“Even today, I still look around and I'm like, ‘Wow, I'm really getting extra work in with KD (Kevin Durant). I'll be going up against (Russell) Westbrook and all those guys,' so it's exciting,” Lamb said. “It's a great thing. It's going to help me as a player.”
NO REMINDER NEEDED
In each of the last six seasons, Martin finished with his team's highest scoring average. That figures to end now that he is teammates with Durant and Westbrook, who finished No. 1 and No. 4 in the NBA in total points last season.
Brooks is confident it won't be necessary to remind Martin he no longer is his team's No. 1 scoring option.
“No, he knows,” Brooks said with a smile. “I would never have to say, ‘Hey, Kevin. The guy with your same (first) name is pretty good.' ”
Westbrook on the Thunder trading James Harden: “James is a good friend of mine. He'll always be a good friend of mine. Just because he's on a different team doesn't change friendships.”
Westbrook on duplicating OKC's chemistry after the trade: “You can't duplicate it, but we have a group of guys who have been here for a while. Every year we've had a different team and we found a way to incorporate guys and make sure they know what it takes for us to win, so I don't think that's going to be a problem.”
ON THE LAMB
Lamb on his strengths and weaknesses: “I'm a great shooter. I can create my own shot and create for others. I'm a good rebounder, play defense. Defense is something I need to work on. That's on close-outs and stuff like that. I need to get stronger.”
Lamb on Durant: “You want to learn from the best, and he's definitely one of the top players in the league. You want to learn from those guys, watch those guys. He's real consistent. He goes full speed. He was here before practice and after practice. That's the stuff you need from your leaders. If he can do it, one of the best players in the world, he doesn't have to do that. Me? That's something I definitely should do.”
Lamb's first impression of the Thunder: “Great training facility. Everything is just put in order. They're professionals out here. The team, they welcomed me. KD texted me immediately. (Kendrick) Perkins texted me immediately.”
Lamb on being traded: “It takes you for a loop when you first hear it, but it's for the best. I'm going to have fun.”
SIDING WITH OKC
Lamb recalled watching the Thunder's playoff run last season.
“Going into the Finals, I thought they were going to win it,” Lamb said. “They're consistent every game. They've got great clutch players, and they got all the perfect pieces. I was thinking they were definitely going to be able to beat the Heat. They weren't able to pull it out, but they stuck together. They always played till the end. You can never count them out of a game. Those are great traits for a team.”
Martin will replace Harden as sixth man, which will be a new role for Martin, who became a starter in the 21st game of his second season with the Sacramento Kings in 2005-06. Since then, Martin has made 387 starts in 410 appearances. His career record as a starter is 171-216 (. 442). … Former Thunder reserve guard Kevin Ollie coached Lamb as an assistant at Connecticut the previous two seasons before replacing Hall of Famer Jim Calhoun as the Huskies' coach this year. Lamb said he has yet to contact Ollie to get his insight on the Thunder. … Tulsa assistant Brett Ballard attended Monday's practice.
Lamb, who now will endure a second round of rookie hazing after being traded from Houston to OKC: “I'm about to be at the beginning of being a rookie all over again. It hasn't started yet, but Russ has told me to get him a smoothie. I know he's going to be doing stuff all year, but it's all right.”