Don’t be shocked if Thabeet ends up on Thunder bench

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The days of Hasheem Thabeet — he former No. 2 pick of the Grizzlies, taken in front of James Harden, Ricky Rubio, Stephen Curry, DeMar DeRozan and others — getting a big NBA payday are gone.

But he likely is still on an NBA roster next season. Maybe a very good one.

From Darnell Mayberry of the Oklahoman (via: Blazers Edge):

Thabeet is probably a lock to sign with the Thunder. In terms of free agent splashes, Thabeet doesn’t even qualify as a ripple.

So why take him? Because he’s 7’3” and young, and you can get him for less than $1 million for the season. If he sits on the end of the bench, so what? But if he pans out in the hard-working, peer pressure environment of the Thunder, they could have another steal.

Thabeet was good at UConn and was seen as a project with potential when drafted. So far that potential has not panned out, but big men can take a while to develop. He goes into a new situation, new work ethic, new locker room and who knows.

It would be a solid gamble.