Oklahoma City Thunder: Roundtable discussion on Hasheem Thabeet

The Oklahoman’s staff writers discuss three topics surrounding Thabeet.
by Berry Tramel and Darnell Mayberry and Anthony Slater Published: June 9, 2014
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Tramel: Sure. He’s got a very favorable contract, plus he’s a super locker room guy, from all indications. And there are times when he’s needed. With Steven Adams and Perkins, Thabeet rarely is needed. But if one of the other is sidelined — as Perk was for a good chunk of the season — then the Thunder occasionally need Thabeet to fill in. And he’s very solid defensively. Still can alter shots, which is a very good trait.

Should the Thunder bring back Thabeet for a third season?

Mayberry: Depends. How aggressive is the Thunder going to be in its attempts to improve the roster this summer? If the Thunder decides to spend on upgrades and needs to shed Thabeet’s salary, it’s a loss OKC can live with. But if the Thunder sticks to its process and remains cost conscious, there’s no reason to let him go. My guess is he’ll be back.

Slater: Thabeet sounds like he wants to be back. But for the Thunder, he’s secondary in this offseason’s thought process. Sam Presti needs to get all his retooling done, explore every possible option and avenue, through draft, free agency and trade. Then, once that’s all done — and only if there is a roster spot available — circle back to Thabeet. Great guy to have in your locker room, one of the NBA’s best bench celebrators, but not at the expense of a needed roster spot.

Tramel: Yes. With a contract coasting just $1.25 million next season, Thabeet is very affordable. If the Thunder is going to carry three centers, why not keep Thabeet? I would be hard-pressed to find a better third-team center in the NBA. If Tibor Pleiss decided he’s ready to start his NBA clock, I guess that could complicate things, but otherwise, I vote for the retention of Thabeet.


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The Oklahoman,...
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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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by Anthony Slater
Thunder Beat Writer
Anthony Slater started on the Thunder beat in the summer of 2013, joining after two years as NewsOK.com's lead sports blogger and web editor. A native Californian, Slater attended Sonoma State for two years before transferring to Oklahoma State in...
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