Hasheem Thabeet has yet to find a good place for himself in the NBA. Thabeet was the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft and has already played for three different teams in his short NBA career.
Thabeet will now get a chance with his fourth NBA team, the Oklahoma City Thunder who are fresh off an NBA Finals appearance last season and feature the best young core in all of basketball.
“It’s another opportunity for me,” Thabeet told the Connecticut Post. “(I want to) establish my position somewhere. I haven’t been consistent. That’s what I’m working on just to stay consistent and have a spot somewhere.”
Thabeet obviously showed a lot of potential in college playing for Connecticut where he played three seasons and was on a record-pace for blocking shots. The game is different in the NBA and Thabeet was less prepared than most anticipated coming into the league.
Thabeet needs a place where he can develop more and learn where he fits in this league. OKC may be just the place, known for developing young talent and they obviously saw something they liked in signing Thabeet this summer.
“To fit in, it’s really hard,” Thabeet said. “You go to different teams and every team expects something different out of you…It’s not an easy league at all. There are still challenges for me every day. I have a great opportunity. Not many people get the chance to where I am right now, I just have to go and capitalize on it.”
Thabeet won’t be asked to do much for the Thunder, anything he gives them will be gravy and maybe that’s just what Thabeet needs. Expectations follow you everywhere you go when you are drafted as high as Thabeet and now it’s pretty clear he’ll never meet those.
But he can still contribute in this league. There’s definitely time for that. With the Thunder, he will be battling Cole Aldrich for the backup center spot in the rotation. Nazr Mohammed had that role the past year and a half and while Aldrich is next in line, he too hasn’t shown enough development to be considered a lock for the role.
The Thunder are one of the most physically imposing teams in the NBA right now. At every position they can dominate you physically from Russell Westbrook playing the point to Kevin Durant’s 7-foot-6 wing span hoisting 25-footers.
At 7-foot-3, Thabeet can impose himself in a physical manner if nothing else. Maybe that will fit with the Thunder. Maybe not.