The 2009 NBA Draft is one of the best in recent memory, boasting a number of All-Stars and All-NBA players including Stephen Curry, Blake Griffin, James Harden, and DeMar DeRozan. Unfortunately, it is also home to one of the biggest busts in recent draft history, second overall pick Hasheem Thabeet.
The Memphis Grizzlies drafted the 7’3 big man out of the University of Connecticut, but he never made a dent in the NBA. He played for four teams in five seasons and never came close to becoming the defensive force he was in college.
After being out of the NBA last season, Thabeet has apparently been working hard in hopes of resurrecting his NBA career. According to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders, one of the teams to work out Thabeet in hopes of seeing what he can do now was the Los Angeles Lakers:
Three NBA teams – the Los Angeles Lakers, New York Knicks and Washington Wizards – recently worked out Thabeet because they wanted to see his transformation in person.
The Lakers certainly have more than enough at center already with Timofey Mozgov receiving a huge contract this off-season as well as the drafting of young Ivica Zubac and the re-signing of Tarik Black. Nonetheless, there is nothing wrong with checking out someone who had enough potential to be drafted second overall.
In his final season at UConn, Thabeet averaged 13.6 points, 10.8 rebounds, and a ridiculous 4.2 blocks. If nothing else, Thabeet proving he can be an outstanding rim protector is enough to get him a look and possibly a chance somewhere.
The Lakers roster is already packed, however, with head coach Luke Walton struggling to decide which players he should cut to trim the roster down to the league-maximum of 15. Whether or not he catches on with the Lakers or anyone else, it is good to see Thabeet working to salvage his career.