OKC Thunder, Hasheem Thabeet agree on two-year deal

The Oklahoma City Thunder has agreed with former No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet on a two-year contract. The deal cannot officially be signed until the league's free agent moratorium period is lifted on July 11.
by Darnell Mayberry Published: July 4, 2012

The Oklahoma City Thunder has agreed with former No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet on a two-year contract.

The deal cannot officially be signed until the league's free agent moratorium period is lifted on July 11. Financial terms of the deal were not immediately known, but the contract, which will be fully guaranteed for both seasons, is believed to be a minimal salary, or roughly $880,000 in the first year of the contract.

Thabeet will join his fourth team in four seasons after being drafted by Memphis in 2009. He was taken one spot ahead of Thunder guard James Harden, but the 7-foot-3 center has had a disappointing start to his professional career after earning Defensive Player of the Year honors in his final two seasons at Connecticut.

In 135 games, Thabeet has averaged 2.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocked shots.

Oklahoma City has been enamored with Thabeet since his college days and was widely believed to be strongly considering selecting him, if available, with the third overall pick. Memphis plucked Thabeet second overall in part because the Grizzlies thought Oklahoma City would take him if they didn't.

In his best season, Thabeet averaged 3.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots in 13 minutes per game as a rookie with the Grizzlies. Memphis, however, traded Thabeet and a first-round pick to Houston midway through his second season in exchange for Shane Battier. After Thabeet appeared in just seven games for Houston, the Rockets sent Thabeet, Jonny Flynn and a second-round pick to Portland in March in exchange for Marcus Camby.

The addition of Thabeet all but guarantees veteran center Nazr Mohammed will not return to the Thunder. If not, that paves the way for third-year center Cole Aldrich to step into the primary backup role behind starter Kendrick Perkins. Thabeet is expected to be the third-string center.


by Darnell Mayberry
OKC Thunder Senior Reporter
Darnell Mayberry grew up in Langston, Okla. and is now in his third stint in the Sooner state. After a year and a half at Bishop McGuinness High, he finished his prep years in Falls Church, Va., before graduating from Norfolk State University in...
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