Memphis Grizzlies – Drafting Hasheem Thabeet
Things have gone pretty well for the Grizzlies in recent days, but the 2009 NBA Draft is a glaring exception. Memphis selected former UConn center Hasheem Thabeet with the number two overall pick, and in case you are new to NBA fandom, that pick did not go according to plan.
Thabeet, who was seen as a potentially dominant defensive player given his 7-foot-3 frame, has struggled mightily throughout his professional career, scoring only 2.2 points per game in 10.5 minutes per contest while playing for four different teams. On the “bright” side for his career, Thabeet is averaging 2.8 blocks per 36 minutes (an above-average mark), flashing the rim protection qualities that made him appealing, but that is where the optimism ceases.
To make matters worse for Memphis, the Grizzlies passed on James Harden (third overall), Tyreke Evans (fourth overall), Ricky Rubio (fifth overall), Stephen Curry (seventh overall) and DeMar DeRozan (ninth overall). Yes, Memphis passed on the top two vote-getters for the 2014-2015 NBA MVP award (Harden and Curry) along with three additional upper-tier perimeter players, and given that the franchise has actually been quite effective on the court recently, the upside of the roster could have been tremendous.
Hasheem Thabeet probably isn’t going to be a quality NBA player at any point, and that qualifies as a draft day disaster for Memphis Grizzlies. Somewhere, Marc Gasol, Mike Conley and Zach Randolph are weeping at the prospect of playing alongside Curry or Harden.
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