The Oklahoma City Thunder have been one of the more proactive NBA teams when it comes to taking advantage of its D-League counterpart in the Tulsa 66ers, but they'll take a look at a host of other free agents Tuesday and Wednesday during a free agent mini-camp according to sources with knowledge of the workout.
The Thunder have invited guards Blake Ahearn, Matt Janning, Jerome Dyson and Marquez Haynes; wings Bobby Simmons, James Singleton, DeMarre Carroll and Joe Alexander; and bigs Ryan Reid, Latavious Williams, Arinze Onuaku, Marquis Gilstrap, Tony Gaffney, Rob Kurz and Stephane Lasme. Those names are fluid, however, meaning a few more could be added to the list by the time workouts are actually underway.
The Thunder own the rights to Reid and Williams after selecting them in the second round of the NBA Draft in 2009 and 2010, respectively, while also being familiar with Dyson after the point guard played 51 games for the D-League team this past season.
The rest of the prospects are all rather interesting, too, considering only Haynes, Onuaku and Gilstrap have never played in the NBA.
Haynes played in France this season for Chalon after going undrafted in the 2010 NBA Draft. Onuaku sat out most of his rookie year due to an injury he sustained at Syracuse before joining the D-League's Rio Grande Valley Vipers for the home stretch. Gilstrap sustained an injury during D-League training camp before taking the same route as Onuaku later in the season.
Ahearn and Janning are both excellent three-point shooters who have been making progress as professional point guards after typically being undersized shooting guards earlier in their careers while Haynes and Dyson are second-year pros who will probably be counted on more for their defensive potential rather than offensive production.
Four of the wings in attendance (aside from the aforementioned Gilstrap) have a fair amount of NBA experience as all but Singleton was an NBA Draft pick (Alexander being a lottery pick) and all are known as defensive stoppers. Carroll played in the NBA this past season with the Houston Rockets and Memphis Grizzlies; Singleton and Alexander both spent the majority of their season in the D-League after beginning the season in NBA camps and Singleton played in China.
The three players left to talk about -- Gaffney, Kurz and Lasme -- have NBA talent, just not NBA contracts. Lasme and Gaffney have both made NBA rosters in the past (Gaffney with the Boston Celtics, Lasme with the Golden State Warriors and Miami Heat) with their stingy defense and lengthy wingspans while Kurz earned a spot on the Warriors his rookie season as a sweet-shooting stretch-four and then was called up to end the season with the Chicago Bulls in 2009-10 (for more on Kurz, who spent a season in the D-League and then Germany following the Warriors, click here. If you're still not familiar with Kurz after that, watch the below video).
Overall, this is a better lineup than the one the Minnesota Timberwolves brought in last week and could produce a few players for the Thunder next season. If nothing else (and barring a lockout, of course), the Thunder will probably invite as many of these guys as possible to play the preseason with the team before allocating a few of them down to the 66ers where the team can keep a close eye on them.