Oversized, 7’3” 263 pound center, Hasheem Thabeet, last played professional basketball during the 2017-18 season for the Yokohama B-Corsairs in the Japanese basketball league. He has been out of the NBA since 2015 when he played for the Grand Rapids Drive in the G-League. Despite all of this, Thabeet is still trying to make an NBA comeback. He will be working out for the Milwaukee Bucks for a second time this week after his first workout went extremely well.
Hasheem Thabeet busted onto the National scene during the 2007-08 college basketball season. That year, he played for UCONN and averaged 10.5 points per game, 7.9 rebounds, and 4.5 blocks on his way to 2nd Team All Big East honors. He also won Big East Defensive Player of the Year and more importantly, the NACB Defensive Player of the Year award. The very next season, he improved on his already impressive college profile. That year, he averaged 13.6 points per game, 10.8 rebounds and 4.2 blocks and made 1st Team All Big East and won the Big East Player of the Year award. Like the previous year, he also won other awards like Big East Defensive Player of the Year, NABC Defensive Player of the Year, and was a 2nd Team Consensus All-American. Going into the 2009 NBA Draft, Thabeet was considered one of the greatest defensive prospect of all-time.
Thabeet ended up being drafted 2nd overall by the Memphis Grizzlies over guys like DeMar DeRozan, James Harden, and Steph Curry. He had his best season his rookie year but was never able to live up to expectations. He wasn’t able to adapt to the speed and physicality of the NBA game and was often criticized for being out of shape. Like I said, his rookie year in 2009-10, was his best season and he played in 68 games with an average of 13.0 minutes per game. He scored a measly 3.1 points per game, grabbed 3.6 rebounds per game, and averaged 1.3 blocks.
After his rookie season, he played in 4 more seasons with 4 different teams. Thabeet had stints with the Grizzlies, Rockets, Trail Blazers and Thunder. He never scored more than 2.4 points per game and never blocked more than 0.9 shots per game. The only bright side for Thabeet throughout his NBA career was that his Per 36 numbers always looked solid.
Hasheem Thabeet is a long shot to make the Milwaukee roster. However, there have been many sources from around the league who are impressed with the shape he’s in and how he’s looked in workouts. If Thabeet made the roster, he would only get minutes in blowouts during garbage time and would be viewed as an insurance policy if Robin Lopez or Dragan Bender went down. Thabeet could however, find himself with a full-time contract on the Wisconsin Herd roster. This would give the Bucks a chance to get an extended look at Thabeet against NBA talent and possibly keep him for next season. Even if Thabeet doesn’t make the Milwaukee Bucks roster, I hope he could find a spot on a different NBA team. Hasheem seems to have a love for basketball and those are the players who are easy to root for.