subject: scoring this season. Prince concluded the 2012 Posted: 6:05am, Jan 18, 2013
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OKLAHOMA CITY -- While the NBAs other top teams load up on high-priced talent through free agency and trades, the Oklahoma City Thunder are trying to improve while facing a budget crunch. Ray Lewis Youth Jersey . The Thunder announced the signings of former No. 2 overall draft pick Hasheem Thabeet and undrafted free agent Hollis Thompson on Wednesday, the first day after the leagues moratorium on additions. Thabeet, a 7-foot-3 centre from Tanzania, was the second pick in the 2009 draft but has averaged only 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds in limited playing time over his first three seasons with Memphis, Houston and Portland. Thompson left Georgetown after his junior season but was not taken in the draft. He will be getting his first shot at the NBA, while Thabeet is seeking a fresh start in another new situation. "Young players, as weve seen, they all develop at different rates in different situations. I wouldnt make any judgments based on two or three years," general manager Sam Presti said in a phone interview. "I think we have to allow that process to take its course and allow him to continue his development and see where things lead after his time with the Thunder." The moves are a sign of where the Thunder stand, with All-Stars Kevin Durant and Russell Westbrook already locked into expensive, long-term contracts and with Sixth Man of the Year James Harden and NBA blocks leader Serge Ibaka eligible for their own high-priced deals. Instead of chasing after the likes of Ray Allen, Steve Nash, Deron Williams and Dwight Howard, the Thunder are trying to build on a budget and limit the damage the luxury tax may present to their payroll. For now, that means taking a chance on players like Thabeet and Thompson. Those additions, plus the signing of first-round draft pick Perry Jones III, make even less likely the return of veteran free agents Derek Fisher, Nazr Mohammed and Royal Ivey. Presti said Oklahoma City sees "more growth left" in Thabeet, who fits the franchises defence-firstmould. Thabeet has attended the Thunders summer league games in Orlando, Fla., this week but Presti said he will not play in summer league as the team instead focuses on his individual development leading up to training camp. "As a young player, at 25 years old, hes really just beginning. Weve always looked at everybodys body of work and how we feel like our organization can put them in positions to be successful," Presti said. "Clearly, we feel like theres an opportunity to impact Hasheems development but thats going to be a process." Thompson, a 6-8 forward, set a Georgetown record by shooting 44 per cent from 3-point range over three seasons. He was second on the team averaging 12.8 points and grabbed 5.5 rebounds last season. His agent, Seth Cohen of Original Creative Representation, said Thompson received a three-year contract, with the Thunder having a team option on both the second and third seasons. Cohen believes Thompsons draft stock fell because played with a misdiagnosed sports hernia the second half of last season and had to cancel many pre-draft workouts. Thompson will have surgery on Thursday. Presti said he will miss three to four weeks of off-season work but will be ready for training camp. That will also keep him from participating in summer league games. "He understands how to play within the framework of a system," Presti said. "I think he has a good understanding of where hes effective on the floor and plays to his strengths, which we think for a young player is a very positive trait." Cohen called the end of last season an "aberration" for Thompson and expressed appreciation to Presti for seeing potential in him despite the injury. "Hes got an NBA skill set," Cohen said. "Thats the bottom line." Ray Rice Black Jersey . The sixth-seeded reigning U.S. Open champion Stosur handled 15th-seeded diminutive Slovak Dominika Cibulkova 6-4, 6-1 in 1 hour, 25 minutes on Court Chatrier at Stade Roland Garros. Anquan Boldin Womens Jersey . A report in the Detroit Free Press says that Suter was offered $80 million by the Red Wings on Sunday, and the team has since increased its offer to the 27-year-old blueliner. . -- Warriors centre Andrew Bogut insists he will no longer even attempt to guess when he might return to the court for Golden State, saying only that he is out "indefinitely. Torrey Smith Ravens Jersey . Now their 48 minutes away from booking tee times. The Thunder stole another one from the Lakers on Saturday, getting a go-ahead three-pointer from Kevin Durant with 13. Arthur Jones Jersey . The Philadelphia centres have signed with Eisbaren Berlin of Germanys top league for the duration of the NHL lockout, according to ESPN.The Ottawa Senators signed forward Shane Prince to a three-year entry-level contract on Sunday. Prince recently completed the 2011-12 season with the Ontario Hockey Leagues Ottawa 67s and helped them advance to the OHL Eastern Conference final, where they were eliminated in five games by the Niagara IceDogs. The Senators second-round pick in the 2011 NHL Draft, Prince has played the last two-plus seasons with Ottawa, establishing career highs in 2011-12 in goaals (43) and points (90). Vonta Leach Jersey. He ranked second among all 67s players in goals, assists (47) and points, and was fourth in OHL scoring this season. Prince concluded the 2012 post-season ranked second among Ottawa players with 16 playoff points. In 244 career OHL contests with the Kitchener Rangers and Ottawa, the native of Spencerport, N.Y., has registered 220 points (86 goals, 134 assists) while amassing 109 penalty minutes and a +67 rating. ' ' '

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