Although Nick Collison has played his entire career with the Seattle/OKC franchise, he constantly has moved back and forth between positions.
Collison freely admits he prefers playing the power forward position (No. 4) rather than center (No. 5), but he definitely will be needed at the 5 this season for the Thunder.
“A lot of the league goes small, so we have Serge (Ibaka) as a 5,” Thunder coach Scott Brooks said. “We've had some success with Serge in the lineup, and Nick can play the 5. We're going to be covered there.”
Collison shrugged when asked if he envisioned having to play the 5 more frequently after losing center Cole Aldrich in Saturday's trade with Houston.
“It's up to coach,” Collison said. “I've done it my whole career. It seems like the majority of my career I've played the 5. Maybe it's just the way it's worked out. I'll do whatever. I prefer playing 4, but I prefer being on a better team. So if it helps us be a better team to play 5, then obviously that's what I want to do.”
Brooks is simply taking advantage of Collison's discipline and intelligence.
“Nick has a high basketball IQ. Most bigs don't,” Brooks said with a chuckle before adding, “I'm kidding. I never really liked bigs. It's a point-guard game. … Ahh, OK, that's my jab.”
Even with the intense focus on Saturday's trade, several involved parties have been ignored.
The trade wasn't a simple swap of James Harden in exchange for Kevin Martin. OKC also acquired rookie Jeremy Lamb and three future draft picks and to do so, the Thunder lost Aldrich, guard Daequan Cook and forward Lazar Hayward, three names that have barely been mentioned the past three days.