As expected, Hasheem Thabeet joined the Thunder in Orlando for summer league this week.
Thabeet did not play Monday in the Thunder's 75-63 loss to Boston. He sat near the bench in street clothes.
But the 7-foot-3 center could suit up for Oklahoma City after he signs his new multiyear contract on Wednesday. If Thabeet signs Wednesday morning, it's possible that he plays Wednesday afternoon against Detroit.
Thabeet sat with Thunder guards Eric Maynor and Daequan Cook on Monday, arriving and leaving the Amway Center with the two. All three are working out with the team each morning, but Maynor and Cook will not participate in the games in Orlando.
“I believe that's a tradition they built here in Oklahoma City. I think you come back and watch and see what the young players are doing and if you can help,” said Reggie Jackson. “When we sit down and talk at dinner or in the hotel rooms, the guys are trying to help me. That's the kind of teammates we are. It's a college atmosphere. We all enjoy each other's presence and like being around each other. We're always trying to help each other get better. I think that's what makes us kind of a unique team and helped us get to where we were last year.”
LATAVIOUS WILLIAMS SITS
Latavious Williams, a forward who the Thunder acquired via a draft-night trade in 2010, is on Oklahoma City's summer league roster but did not play Monday.
Williams, who spent last season playing in Spain, is waiting on paperwork from FIBA that will clear him to play with the Thunder.
That clearance is expected to be completed Tuesday, allowing Williams to play Tuesday afternoon.
JACKSON CARRIES THE OFFENSE
Jackson scored a team-high 19 points on 7-for-15 shooting Monday, carrying the offense during times in which the Thunder had few other options.
After making just two of his first six shots, Jackson finished strong by five of his final nine attempts.
“I thought Reggie did a good job,” said Thunder summer league coach Mark Bryant. “Like we said, it's the first game. He's getting a good feel, a chance to play. He hasn't played that much all yearlong. So this summer is a real good showcase for him, and I thought he did good. He's going to get better as each game goes by.”
Jackson said he has spent the past few days drilling on attacking off of screen and rolls and not playing tentatively.
“I'm just a young player trying to get better in the league,” Jackson said. “Hopefully I just become a well-rounded player, fix up my flaws and minimize some of my deficiencies.”
ALDRICH HAS ROUGH DAY
Cole Aldrich, who is projected to be the backup center behind Kendrick Perkins next season, struggled through a rough opening day in Orlando.
Aldrich missed all four of his field-goal attempts and scored just one point in 31 minutes. The third-year center pulled down seven rebounds but had just one assists and three turnovers, three of them coming on illegal screens.
“He played hard,” Bryant said. “It was the first game. He hasn't played in like two years, so this is like his first big-time game. I thought he did all right. And he will get better throughout the week.”
JONES CAUGHT CRAMPS
After making his pro summer league debut, forward Perry Jones immediately knew what he needed to improve as the summer labors on.
“My stamina,” Jones said. “I caught cramps. I know the team is going to help me get better in every category so I'm just waiting to get better.”
Jones didn't play the final two minutes despite the Thunder being down by just four at one point in that span. But he said it had nothing to do with the cramps.
“They didn't know,” Jones said of the coaching staff.
HAYWARD BATTLES THROUGH BAD SHOOTING DAY
Third-year forward Lazar Hayward was 0-for-8 at halftime.
But in the second half, Hayward scored 14 of his 18 points, made 4-of-6 shot and pulled down seven of his team-high nine rebounds.
“Lazar had some good looks, they just didn't go in for him,” Bryant said. “But he still played aggressive, he played defense, he was into the game and he didn't let those shots that he missed affect him defensively. He was building guys up, and that's what we want. He's going to hit those shots.”
Hayward also attempted, and made, a game-high nine free throws.
The Thunder will play Indiana on Tuesday at noon. The game can be seen live on NBA TV and online for a fee by signing up for the summer league broadband package … The Thunder trailed the Celtics by 17 on two occasions late in the first quarter … Both the Thunder and Celtics shot below 38 percent on Monday … The Thunder had just four assists against Boston and 15 turnovers … OKC used a starting lineup of Jackson, Hayward, Jones, Aldrich and Garrett Temple … Former Thunder forward Ryan Reid went scoreless and had two rebounds in 13 minutes Monday.