Over the next 16 days, we’re going to be ranking the Thunder roster, 1-15. Each day we’ll reveal a new ranking and a player. We’d enjoy your feed back by using the hashtag “#ThunderRank” on Facebook or Twitter. Alright, alright, you’re all waiting.. here it is! PS: Grant Jerrett is ineligible for the list due to he remains unsigned with the Thunder.
#11 – Hasheem Thabeet
When I heard that the Oklahoma City Thunder I was surprised and annoyed that this “was our big free agent signing.” I even said he was signed to be our bench cheerleader. I didn’t expect this huge man to be of any importance to the Thunder this past season. He was though. That’s the thing. Hasheem proved to be the back up to Kendrick Perkins when the vaunted Harden-Martin trade went down, that sent Cole Aldrich to Houston.
Fast forward a few months into the season, and Thabeet is loved throughout Oklahoma City. The former number two draft selection in the 2009 N.B.A. Draft, has figured out how to make his presence known in the big town. Though, he has his faults. He’s not the perfect player, but he has done enough to show vast improvements over his previous three seasons in the N.B.A.
It’s not all sunshine and improvement for the big uy. He’s seven foot, three inches tall, the guy has the weird obsession with biting on a pump fake. You’d think that he would find a way to just NOT jump when someone is backing him down in the post, He also gets in a LOT of foul trouble, but so does Nick Collison. One thing about Thabeet, is I feel in his small sample that he is allowed, he does a great job for the Thunder.
It’s really positive as we’ve watched Thabeet this past season, he’s grown as a player. He was very uncomfortable and did things just really sloppy in the past, with other teams. However, here in Oklahoma City he is not needed to do a lot. Just come in and play a few minutes. The Thunder have done a great job honing his skills, and helping him get better on the basketball court.
Thabeet could continue to get better. Will he ever push for the overall starting position over Kendrick Perkins? No, never. Mainly because there is zero reason to start someone over Perkins, who’s worth $8 million dollars. However, he is and can become a really serviceable back up for this team. Something, we’ve really lacked. Especially he can be valuable until Steven Adams is ready to step up to the big ranks.
Here’s a recap of the #ThunderRank to this point: