Oklahoma City Thunder Acquires Forward Lazar Hayward

Tuesday, December 13th 2011, 10:05 pm
By: News 9


OKLAHOMA CITY – The Thunder has sent guard Robert Vaden and two conditional second round picks to Minnesota for forward Lazar Hayward.

Hayward was the 30th overall pick in the 2010 NBA draft to the Wizards (and was immediately traded to Minnesota) and averaged 3.8 points and 1.7 rebounds in 42 games last year as a rookie.

Thunder GM Sam Presti said he and the entire organization are excited to add Hayward to the roster.

"Lazar is someone who we followed closely through the draft process and identified as a potential fit for the culture and identity that we are continuing to build in Oklahoma City," Presti said. "His toughness, length and shooting are attributes that will add depth to our roster, while his professionalism and competitiveness embody the intangibles that we value as an organization."

Hayward, a 6-6, 225-pound forward out of Marquette, is expected to back up Kevin Durant at the small forward position, which at the end of last season had no real second string player.

He is known for his toughness and work ethic and will provide even more young depth for a Thunder team that already fits that description.

Hayward struggled to find playing time in Minnesota due in large part to a host of other young forwards all being auditioned for larger roles. He was up against players such as Michael Beasley, Wesley Johnson and Corey Brewer for time at the small forward spot, and could have been pushed out further by Minnesota's selection of Arizona forward Derrick Williams in this year's draft.

Robert Vaden was the 54th pick in the 2009 draft out of Alabama-Birmingham. He did not appear in any games for the Thunder but spent time in the NBDL with the Tulsa 66ers.

Minnesota is expected to immediately waive Vaden to make room for point guard J.J. Barea.