According to Adrian Wojnarowski of Yahoo!, the Oklahoma City Thunder are taking a “careful” look at Memphis Grizzlies center Hasheem Thabeet, but are only willing to pay a “modest” price for him.
Let’s take a look at why it may make sense for the Thunder to take a flyer on Thabeet:
– Thabeet is only 24 years old, and hasn’t even finished his second year in the NBA yet.
– It wasn’t long ago that Thabeet was named the NCAA defensive player of the year and averaged 4.2 blocks per game.
– Thabeet is still 7-2 with a 7-6 wingspan.
– The Thunder desperately need somebody capable of defending the rim — according Hoopdata.com, only the Raptors allow more made baskets at the rim per game.
That’s the case for Thabeet. The case against Thabeet is that he has been a terrible, terrible, terrible NBA player. Thabeet is shooting just over 40% from the field, is a 50% free throw shooter, and commits 7.7 fouls per 40 minutes. Thabeet is young, but he has yet to show any glimpses of competence. That’s not good, and that’s why the Thunder are only willing to pay a “modest price” for a player who was the #2 overall draft pick just last year.
There’s a chance that Thabeet will become the kind of shot-blocker he was in college in the right system, but right now he may be on his way to being the biggest draft bust in history — Kwame Brown has at least been a rotation player for the better part of a decade. We’ll see if any team is willing to try and save him from that kind of infamy.