The Oklahoma City Thunder aren’t looking to do too much this summer in terms of signing free agents. Their roster is pretty full right now and they aren’t targeting any big names.
The top priority in OKC right now is getting a deal done with Scott Brooks and then extending James Harden and Serge Ibaka.
Former No. 2 overall pick from the 2009 NBA Draft, Hasheem Thabeet, could be a player that the Thunder may go after in free agency.
First the Perry Jones “gamble,” now Hasheem Thabeet? Source says Oklahoma City is the most likely landing spot for the 7-3 center who was taken No. 2 by Memphis in 2009 and will be playing for his fourth team (assuming he doesn’t sign with Portland, Houston or the Griz).
The Thunder have three players that will be free agents this summer: Derek Fisher, Nazr Mohammed and Royal Ivey. They drafted Perry Jones III so that leaves two more spots on the roster to fill.
Fisher and Mohammed will likely not be coming back so there could be room for a free agent signing like Thabeet.
Thabeet is an unrestricted free agent and likely wouldn’t command much of a deal. The Thunder have always been interested in taking a flyer on Thabeet, even coming close to working a deal for him a couple years ago while he was still in Memphis. The Thunder feel strongly that put in their program, Thabeet still has the tools to develop into something worthwhile.
Thabeet is considered by most a bust at this point in his NBA career. He has played in 135 games in his career and averaged 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds per game.
Thabeet is 7-foot-3 though and there is a reason he was drafted No. 2 overall in the draft. He has potential and has some tools to work with and the Thunder may see that in him.
The feeling around a team like OKC is that it would be a great fit for anyone. That was the case when they drafted Jones III. Had Jones III been taken in the top 10 by a team like Toronto, everyone would be calling it a bad pick. In Oklahoma City, it will be a perfect fit for Jones III.
That’s the same way people would feel if the Thunder signed Thabeet. Couldn’t he give the Thunder a solid 10-minute stretch now and then? Imagine Thabeet and Serge Ibaka in a lineup on the floor together. That sounds like it could be a force to be reckoned with on defense.
The Thunder have a luxury that not every NBA team has. They are young and made it to the NBA Finals last season and they now can take flyers on players like Thabeet and Jones III.
It seems like no matter what the Thunder do, it is the right move. Only the Thunder can sign Thabeet and call it “the right move.”
Update: Hasheem Thabeet visited the Thunder on Sunday and could end up signing with Oklahoma City, a source said. The 7-3 center has played for Memphis, Houston and Portland since being drafted No. 2 by the Grizzlies in 2009.