Each year since Jeremy Lamb became a member of the Oklahoma City Thunder in “that” James Harden trade, people have always pointed out that Lamb is one of the most talented players they have seen. All the potential in the world, terrific body type for basketball and a high basketball IQ.
We just haven’t been witness to it – yet.
Other than his domination of the D-League and his sensational Summer League performances, Jeremy Lamb still hasn’t given the Thunder what they thought he might. Last season, Lamb looked poised to really come on strong, show that development fans and the franchise has been craving and carve out a very valuable role with the team.
Up until the All Star break, things were looking pretty solid and we could see a glimmer of what was to come. Unfortunately for Lamb, OKC brought in Caron Butler and Head Coach Scott Brooks decided that a veteran presence is what the team needed, so Lamb slipped further and further out of the rotation and therefore had even less consistency in his game.
Now it seems we are starting to wonder whether we will ever get the opportunity to see Jeremy Lamb in full flight with the Thunder, or perhaps at all.
Thabo Sefolosha and Caron Butler have both moved on and Josh Huestis will play in the D-League. It is looking likely that Reggie Jackson will play alongside Russell Westbrook in the starting backcourt which leaves the role of 6th man and “spark plug” to fall to someone else.
While you may think that the signing of Anthony Morrow will solve this issue, it won’t. Morrow is more of a spot up shooter and a very dead eye one at that, but he doesn’t really penetrate and he isn’t the best shot creator for himself. These are two key areas where Lamb excels.
Heading into this season, the Thunder are looking to space the floor, pick up their perimeter defense and scoring and take some of the pressure and offensive load from Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook. Starting Jackson is going to help, adding Morrow’s specialist set of skills is going to help, but they are going to need Serge Ibaka to keep improving, Steven Adams to back up his brilliant rookie campaign, and they are going to need Lamb to become a lion.
Is this the year we finally go from talking about Jeremy Lamb’s potential and start talking about his production?