Thunder Acquires Cole Aldrich and Morris Peterson

OKLAHOMA CITY, July 8, 2010 – Oklahoma City Thunder Executive Vice President and General Manager Sam Presti announced today that the team has acquired the draft rights to Cole Aldrich (11th overall) and veteran forward Morris Peterson from the New Orleans Hornets in exchange for the draft rights to Craig Brackins (21st overall) and Quincy Pondexter (26th overall).

“We are pleased to welcome Cole and Morris to the Thunder organization,” said Presti. “Cole brings a blue collar approach to the defensive end of the floor that complements our current core as we continue to build our team in Oklahoma City. Morris adds more shooting to our roster in addition to his professionalism and experience.”

Aldrich, the 11th overall selection in the 2010 NBA Draft, averaged 11.3 points, 9.8 rebounds and 3.5 blocks per game during his junior campaign at the University of Kansas. The 6-11 center was named Big 12 Defensive Player of the Year and First–Team All-Big 12 for the second consecutive season along with AP Third Team All-American as a junior. He leaves KU as the school’s all-time leader in blocks in a season (125) and second on the schools all-time block list (253). Aldrich was a perfect 55-0 at Allen Fieldhouse as a Jayhawk and was a member of the 2008 National Championship team.

Peterson, a 10-year NBA veteran, carries career averages of 10.8 points, 3.5 rebounds and 1.5 assists in 707 games with Toronto Raptors and the New Orleans Hornets. The 6-7 forward was named to the NBA All-Rookie First Team in 2001. A member of the 2000 NCAA National Championship team at Michigan State, Peterson was named an AP Second Team All-American as a senior at MSU.

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