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Norcross grad Lamb traded before NBA season starts

NBA Commissioner David Stern, left, poses with Jeremy Lamb, of Connecticut, the No. 12 overall draft pick by the Houston Rockets in the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June, 28, 2012, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

NBA Commissioner David Stern, left, poses with Jeremy Lamb, of Connecticut, the No. 12 overall draft pick by the Houston Rockets in the NBA basketball draft, Thursday, June, 28, 2012, in Newark, N.J. (AP Photo/Bill Kostroun)

Just days before his rookie NBA season begins, Norcross grad Jeremy Lamb found out he is changing teams.

The Oklahoma City Thunder traded Sixth Man of the Year James Harden to the Houston Rockets on Saturday, breaking up the young core of the Western Conference champions and acquiring Lamb, fellow guard Kevin Martin, two first-round picks and a second-round pick.

Oklahoma City also sent center Cole Aldrich, and forwards Daequan Cook and Lazar Hayward to Houston. Yahoo! Sports first reported the trade. Harden will become a free agent next summer if Houston doesn't sign him to an extension by Oct. 31.

The Thunder had already signed Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and Serge Ibaka to long-term deals, and apparently realized Harden was going to want a bigger salary than they would offer.

"We wanted to sign James to an extension, but at the end of the day, these situations have to work for all those involved. Our ownership group again showed their commitment to the organization with several significant offers," Thunder general manager Sam Presti said in a statement.

"We were unable to reach a mutual agreement, and therefore executed a trade that capitalized on the opportunity to bring in a player of Kevin's caliber, a young talent like Jeremy and draft picks, which will be important to our organizational goal of a sustainable team."

For Lamb, it's a sudden change after the Rockies drafted in the first round (12th overall) of the 2012 NBA Draft out of Connecticut. The 6-foot-5, 180-pound guard had a standout college career, winning an NCAA championship as a freshman.

Lamb, who now joins a team with NBA title aspirations, averaged 6.2 points in six preseason appearances with the Rockets. He averaged 16.5 minutes in those contests.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.