Apr 17, 2013; Oklahoma City, OK, USA; Milwauee Bucks guard Monta Ellis (11) handles the ball against Oklahoma City Thunder guard Jeremy Lamb (11) during the first half at Chesapeake Energy Arena. Mandatory Credit: Mark D. Smith-USA TODAY Sports

Are the OKC Thunder committed to Jeremy Lamb?

Take a look at this highlight video of Jeremy Lamb in the D-League this past season. Impressive, right?

Lamb has got talent and this coming season, we should start to see him playing a lot more.

The Thunder are more than likely not going to bring Kevin Martin back which will mean Lamb should start seeing some of those minutes. I could see DeAndre Liggins maybe getting some of those minutes at the start but there’s no reason to believe Lamb shouldn’t emerge in the backup two-guard role next year.

We don’t know yet how committed the Thunder are to Lamb. He hardly played for OKC last season and the Thunder didn’t actually draft him, as he was acquired as part of the James Harden trade. So we’re not sure exactly how much the Thunder saw in him.

And now headed into the upcoming NBA Draft, the Thunder will have three draft picks with one of those coming in the lottery. Basically, the Thunder will have an opportunity to get a young player other than Lamb if they decide that’s what they want to do.

We should get a good feel for how the Thunder feel about Lamb this offseason and around the time of the draft, especially. If the Thunder are trying to trade Lamb at that time, then Lamb’s days in OKC may be numbered. If the Thunder draft a big man in the lottery and then go international late in the first round, Lamb should be considered the prospect of the future for this franchise.

A lot of pressure is on Lamb now that Martin has clearly been labeled as a rental as part of the Harden trade. Lamb and the No. 12 pick in this year’s draft are the real assets OKC received for Harden.

Here’s what Royce Young of Daily Thunder said on the deal: “Allow me to rehash: The James Harden trade, which is already being labeled as a disaster by many, wasn’t about Martin. Martin was merely a stopgap while Lamb seasoned (get it? you get it). The trade really was for Lamb and what’s now the No. 12 pick. The Thunder may choose to keep Martin, but it would take him giving OKC a significant discount. He’s 30 years old and not the best fit in the world.”

Is it possible that they will someday be able to semi-replace the Beard? Only time will tell.

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Tags: Jeremy Lamb NBA Draft 2013 Oklahoma City Thunder

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