The Thunder front office’s most recent act of Prestidigitation perplexes me somewhat. Hasheem Thabeet, whose major distinction, apart from being seven-foot-three, is being the highest draft pick (#2) ever sent to the D-League, has found his way onto the Oklahoma City roster. Clark Matthews at The Lost Ogle has opined that Sam Presti has “gambled on … big men with weak motors hoping his team can give them a tune up.”
Thabeet isn’t being added to play major minutes. He’s essentially moving into the Honorary Cole Aldrich Role of capping off blowouts with an obligatory dunk. But at the same time a low risk, potentially high reward talent to have on the bench.
Which means that Aldrich is now, by default, the #2 center behind Kendrick Perkins, Thabeet sliding into the #3 slot, though Scott Brooks’ enthusiasm for small-ball may limit minutes for both those guys.
My own thinking runs like this: Brooks just signed his new deal, which gets him a major raise, a long-term gig, and a whole lot more pressure. At some point during the negotiation, Brooks, while cracking a smile, may have pointed out that he is, after all, a man of infinite patience. Hasheem Thabeet may be Sam Presti’s way of testing that patience.