Former OKC Thunder player Hasheem Thabeet surfaces in a bid to make the Bucks roster

Hasheem Thabeet, OKC Thunder grabs a rebound against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 13, 2013 (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images)
Hasheem Thabeet, OKC Thunder grabs a rebound against the Los Angeles Lakers on December 13, 2013 (Photo by Layne Murdoch/NBAE via Getty Images) /

Former OKC Thunder big man Hasheem Thabeet has surfaced in Milwaukee where he’ll work out for the Bucks hoping to earn a 2019-2020 roster spot.

Many consider Hasheem Thabeet as one of OKC Thunder General Manager, Sam Presti’s greatest whiffs at his job. The big man was drafted second overall in 2009.

In fairness it wasn’t the Thunder who drafted him, that honor falls to the MemphisGrizzlies who clearly had high hopes for the 7’3″  Thabeet. Why else select him second overall just behind top pick Blake Griffin and just ahead of the Thunder who took James Harden with the third pick?

Nor was this a class devoid of talent as lottery picks Ricky Rubio (5), Stephen Curry (7), and DeMar DeRozan (9) were available. Others like James Johnson (16), Jrue Holiday (17), Jeff Teague (19), Taj Gibson (26), DeMarre Carroll (27), and Wayne Ellington (28) followed and are all still playing in the NBA.

Where the story gets interesting is Thabeet ended up on the OKC Thunder roster after he signed on as a free agent on July 11, 2012. The big man’s first three seasons were spent bouncing around the then D-League squads of the Grizzlies and Rockets.

Playing the six degrees of separation game his trade to the Rockets can link to Andre Roberson. Minnesota selected Roberson 26th in 2013 draft eventually trading him to the Warriors who traded him to the Thunder in 2013 for Archie Goodwin and cash considerations.

The center never lived up to expectations even as a secondary producer in the NBA. His playing days seemingly came to an end after the Detroit Pistons picked him up in September 2014 only to waive him a month later prior to season start. The last professional experience linked to the big man was a stint in Japan in 2017.

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So, it’s a bit of a surprising twist, Hasheem is working out with the Milwaukee Bucks. Presumably, the Bucks are considering the 32-year old to fill a reserve role behind starters Giannis Antetokounmpo and Brook Lopez at the power forward and center positions.

Thabeet definitely fits the Bucks penchant for adding long, lengthy players. However, even for a thin Milwaukee frontcourt gaining a roster position isn’t guaranteed. This because the Bucks have Ersan İlyasova and added both Robin Lopez and Dragan Bender this offseason to help fill reserve minutes upfront.

Amico Hoops scribe Ben Stinar broke the news on Twitter. Stinar noted Thabeet dedicated his time this past year strengthening and conditioning his body to get into NBA ready shape.  In addition, Stinar states other NBA clubs beyond the Bucks showed interest in the big man.

Over the course of Thabeet’s brief time on the NBA hardcourt, he averaged 2.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, 0.8 blocks and averaged 56.7 percent from the field.

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In his two seasons with the OKC Thunder, the former UConn product averaged 2.1 points, 2.6 rebounds, 0.8 blocks, and 59.7 percent from the field in 10.8 minutes per game. Thabeet played in 66 games for the Thunder in the 2012-13 season and 23 games in the 2013-14 season.