Robert Vaden is familiar with the term "money talks.” That’s why he’s confident he can make the Thunder’s opening day roster.
Oklahoma City acquired the 3-point sharp-shooter out of UAB by giving cash to the Charlotte Bobcats, who selected Vaden late in the second round with the No. 54 overall pick.
"With the economy being so bad you don’t spend money on things you don’t want,” Vaden said. "They wouldn’t have bought the pick if they didn’t feel I was a good player.”
Vaden, a 6-foot-5 shooting guard, and the Thunder’s other two NBA Draft picks appeared at a press conference and fan event Saturday afternoon at MidFirst Bank.
Vaden averaged 21.1 points in his junior year with the Blazers, 17.6 last season. He scored in double figures in 32 of 34 games.
"He’s a self-made player, a competitor who has great focus, great work ethic and has improved his game,” said Thunder general manager Sam Presti. "And he can really shoot the basketball.”
One of the best shooters in the draft, Vaden averaged 10 treys a game, making nearly four during his two seasons at UAB.
D.J. White, a rookie with the Thunder last season, was Vaden’s roommate two years at Indiana before Vaden transferred to UAB.
"He’s a great shooter who has really improved his game,” White said.