Perhaps seen as a throw-in player in last month's trade with Houston, the Kings' Cole Aldrich has been much more than that lately.

The third-year center played a career-high 24 minutes in Wednesday night's 121-79 win over the Chicago Bulls.
DeMarcus Cousins sat out the game with a left quadriceps contusion, and Jason Thompson picked up two fouls in the first quarter, so Aldrich was called upon early.

Aldrich finished with six points, six rebounds and a blocked shot, making the most of his first opportunity to play extended minutes for the Kings.

The former Kansas star is used to being traded. After being selected 11th overall in the 2010 NBA draft by New Orleans, Aldrich immediately was sent to Oklahoma City. Before this season, he was dealt to Houston in the James Harden trade.

For most of his career, Aldrich has seen limited playing time - 77 games, 7.3 minutes per game and a 1.8-point average.

In two seasons in Oklahoma City, Aldrich played in just 44 games behind Kendrick Perkins and Serge Ibaka patrolling the paint. In Houston, he played 30 games behind center Omer Asik, who was signed by the Rockets before the season.

"My first two years, I really haven't played too much in the league," Aldrich said. "I've just been working hard - that's the biggest thing. And now I've gotten some minutes, and it's showing. The hard work that I've put in is starting to pay off."

Aldrich had one of the highlights of Wednesday night's game during the second quarter. He used a ball fake to get Bulls forward Carlos Boozer in the air and spun to his left for a dunk.

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