After spending the first three seasons of his career with the Oklahoma City Thunder, Jeremy Lamb was dealt to the Charlotte Hornets this past summer. Lamb played sparingly in OKC, hardly making an impact. In Charlotte, however, Lamb is at least getting playing time, and showing flashes of the potential that made him the No. 12 overall pick in the 2012 NBA Draft.
The Hornets are now literally banking on Lamb to reach his potential in Charlotte.
"They love Lamb," said a league source plugged into the dynamics in Charlotte. "He's really the only long, athletic shooting guard they have now that Batum will be back at the three. He has a chance to be really good."
This has been the opinion in the Charlotte front office for some time. Sources say the Hornets tried to trade for Lamb long before he finally became available -- for pennies on the dollar when Oklahoma City no longer had any use or luxury-tax dollars for him.
So far in two games with the Hornets, Lamb has played an average of 16.5 minutes and scored a combined 20 points. He has also shown that he can knock down 3s (4-9 3PT), a big part of Charlotte's offense this season. At 23 years old, Lamb can still develop into a capable scorer off the bench.
At $7 million a year, it may seem like Charlotte is outbidding nobody based on its own expectations for Lamb. Though with the NBA's salary cap rising next summer, Lamb could possibly become a solid player on a reasonable deal. That's at least what the Hornets are betting will happen by offering Lamb this extension.