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Thunder notebook: Cole Aldrich sent to Tulsa 66ers

Former ‘OKC Hornet' Tyson Chandler saw many familiar faces in crowd
BY JOHN ROHDE, Staff Writer, jrohde@opubco.com Modified: November 25, 2010 at 7:03 am •  Published: November 24, 2010

Thunder rookie center Cole Aldrich on Wednesday was assigned to the Tulsa 66ers of the NBA Developmental League.

Aldrich and second-year center Byron Mullens are expected to alternate back and forth to Tulsa throughout this season. Rookies and second-year players are the only members on NBA rosters permitted to play in the D-League. A player is allowed a maximum of three assignments per season.

“Cole is a big part of our future and right now wasn't seeing a lot of playing time,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “This just gives him an opportunity to go to Tulsa and play. We'll work with him. We'll still go there as much as we can to help him practice and watch games.”

The 11th overall pick in the 2010 NBA Draft, Aldrich has appeared in five games this season, averaging 1.0 points, 2.2 rebounds and 9.6 minutes per game. He joins the 66ers for their home opener against the Iowa Energy on Friday at the Tulsa Convention Center.

CHANDLER REFLECTS

Mavericks center Tyson Chandler quickly became a fan favorite in Oklahoma City while playing for the relocated New Orleans Hornets in 2006-07.

He nearly joined the Thunder in a trade two seasons ago but failed a physical exam with a bum toe. Chandler finished with 17 points and 18 rebounds in Wednesday night's 111-103 victory over the Thunder.

“I loved it here. I still love the fans here,” Chandler said. “Amazing fans, great people out here in Oklahoma City, just walking in here and seeing so many familiar faces in the arena and at the hotel.”

Asked if ever thought about what might have been with the Thunder, Chandler said: “The only time I thought about that was in the summertime, playing with Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook, two good friends of mine. I really enjoyed playing with them. I was here for I don't know how many hours, then I went back to the Hornets.

“Sometimes life throws you lemons, and you've got to make lemonade. It was one of those cases where I was a little baffled about the situation. I didn't understand it, but everything happens for a reason.”

COLLISON'S NUMBERS

Details of Nick Collison's four-year extension have been reported.

The 30-year-old Collison will receive the Thunder's available cap-space money of approximately $6.5 million as a signing bonus, which will be added to his salary of $6,750,000 for a total of roughly $13,250,000 this season. Collison reportedly will then make $3,272,997 next season; $2,929,332 in 2012-13; $2,585,668 in 2013-14; and $2,242,003 in 2014-15.

Box score: Thunder vs. Mavericks

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