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Oklahoma City Thunder: Other opportunities arise when changes occur

General manager Sam Presti excited to see which players step up, play a bigger role after trade sent James Harden to Rockets
by Darnell Mayberry Published: October 28, 2012

Someone just needs to get word to Scotty Brooks to get Martin and Collison working on that chemistry that Collison had Harden shared.

“That is one of the things I think our coaching staff has done a great job with is maximizing the group, understanding the skill-sets and the traits of the particular players and putting them in positions to be successful,” Presti said. “And I think Kevin Martin is a guy that is very versatile in terms of not necessarily needing the ball all the time to create plays.”

Remember, too, that the Thunder has precocious parts waiting their turn.

Reggie Jackson. Perry Jones III. Lamb.

“As with any team,” Presti said, “when there's changes other people emerge. And I'm looking forward to seeing the development of different pieces of our roster.”

Keep this in mind. Harden never would have bloomed into the bearded man beloved league wide had it not been for the trade that sent Jeff Green to Boston. That deal opened up playing time and, eventually, leading roles for both Harden and Serge Ibaka, who showed phenomenal growth this preseason and should help compensate for any potential slippage brought by Harden's departure.

“I'm excited to see how our group responds,” Presti said. “But with the maturity of Russell and Kevin and the way that they're impacting our team on and off the floor right now, I'm confident in the guys.”