OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - Add Cole Aldrich to a crowded race to become the starting center for the Oklahoma City Thunder.
Taken with the No. 11 pick in Thursday night's draft, the 6-foot-11 Aldrich was sent to the Thunder in a trade with the New Orleans Hornets. Oklahoma City gave up a pair of first-round picks and also got veteran forward Morris Peterson in the swap.
Aldrich enters the mix with starter Nenad Krstic and reserve Serge Ibaka, who received increased playing time down the stretch and made a defensive impact in the playoffs. The Thunder also are trying to develop Byron Mullens, who was the No. 24 overall pick in last year's draft.
Despite lacking a big-name center, Oklahoma City led the NBA in blocked shots and ranked third in the league in rebounding last season.
(Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)
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