Hasheem Thabeet

Hasheem Thabeet Garnering Interest From Teams In Asia, Spain

Former No. 2 pick Hasheem Thabeet is evaluating interest from multiple teams in Asia and Spain, with the former UConn center hoping to resurrect his NBA career by proving his worth, agent Jerry Dianis told Hoops Rumors.

In addition to clubs overseas, several teams in the G League have maintained an interest in Thabeet, Dianis said.

Thabeet signed an NBA G League contract and started the season with the Fort Wayne Mad Ants, the Pacers’ G League affiliate. He parted ways with the team last month after averaging four points, 4.3 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game in fairly limited time (16.4 minutes per contest), appearing in nine total games.

Thabeet, 32, remains a valuable defensive asset for teams in need of rim protection. He’s established himself as an elite shot-blocker during his professional career, using his 7’3″, 260-pound athletic frame to contest shots and play strong defense.

Thabeet worked out for multiple NBA teams before being drafted by Fort Wayne in the fall, including Golden State, Denver and New York. He also attended two workouts with Milwaukee.

Thabeet, who spent three seasons at UConn from 2006-09, has shown impressive durability and worked hard on improving his body in recent years. He has made past stops with the Grizzlies, Rockets, Blazers, Thunder, Pistons and Lakers, which includes an array of G League stints.

2019 NBA G League Draft Recap

Former Miami Hurricanes star Anthony Lawrence II was selected by Northern Arizona with the first pick in today’s G League draft. A combo forward, Lawrence spent four years in college, averaging 12.5 points and 6.6 rebounds last season. He was signed and waived by the Jazz last Saturday.

Lawrence played for the Cavaliers during Summer League, then signed with Hapoel Be’er Sheva in Israel. However, he parted ways with the team earlier this month after one preseason game.

Some other notable selections include:

Mourning, who spent four years at Georgetown, is the son of Hall of Fame center Alonzo Mourning. He played for the Heat during Summer League. Duval, once a highly touted point guard at Duke, was a two-way player for the Bucks for most of last season and appeared in three NBA games.

Mac, formerly known as Sheldon McClellan, got into 30 games for the Wizards during the 2016/17 season. Thabeet, the second player chosen in the 2009 NBA Draft, worked out extensively with the Knicks this summer and is hoping to return to the NBA at age 32.

Other prominent draftees include former Celtics and Lakers guard Vander Blue, the 13th pick in the second round by Santa Cruz, and Trey Phills, son of former NBA player Bobby Phills, who went to Windy City with the 18th pick in the fourth round.

The full results of this year’s draft can be found here.

And-Ones: Duval, G League Draft, NBA Rosters, Williamson

Trevon Duval has signed a G League contract and is eligible for this Saturday’s draft, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days tweets. Duval was a two-way player for the Rockets last season and became a free agent when the team didn’t give him a qualifying offer this summer. He was claimed by Houston in March after the Bucks waived him. The former Duke guard made three cameo appearances with Milwaukee.

We have more from around the basketball world:

  • Journeyman center Hasheem Thabeet, former Lakers guard Vander Blue, and forward Trey Mourning, son of Alonzo Mourning, are some of the more interesting names on the list of players eligible for the G League draft, according to a league press release. The Northern Arizona Suns have the first pick.
  • There are 108 international players from 38 countries and territories on current NBA rosters, according to a league press release. The most-represented countries among the 108 international players on opening-night rosters are Canada (16 players), Australia (nine players), France (eight players), Croatia (seven players) and Serbia (six players). The Mavericks lead the league with seven international players.
  • Zion Williamson‘s knee injury created disappointment for the NBA’s TV partners, as Joe Vardon of The Athletic explains. TNT and ESPN wanted nationally-televised games featuring the Pelicans during the opening week of the season to showcase Williamson. They were stuck showing the Pelicans without the top pick in the draft on the court because it was too late to make a change. Vardon goes in-depth on how the national TV schedule is designed and notes that the Lakers play 21 of their 30 nationally -televised games after New Year’s Day because the networks wanted to feature LeBron James and Anthony Davis during the team’s playoff push.
  • Amida Brimah, the former UConn center who was in training camp with the Pacers, has suffered a torn right ACL, Scott Agness of The Athletic tweets. He was slated to join Indiana’s G League team, the Fort Wayne Mad Ants.  Brimah will undergo surgery next week, Agness adds.

Hasheem Thabeet Signs G League Contract

Former No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet will head to the G League as he looks to make his way back to the NBA, according to Shams Charania of The Athletic, who reports (via Twitter) that the veteran center has signed an NBAGL contract.

Thabeet, 32, hasn’t appeared in a regular season NBA game since the 2013/14 season, when he saw the court 23 times for the Thunder. However, he has been working hard to get back into the league this year, auditioning for the Nuggets, Bucks, and Knicks in recent months.

Thabeet played a full season for the Grand Rapids Drive, Detroit’s G League affiliate, in 2014/15. Because NBAGL teams only hold a player’s returning rights for two years though, the Drive will no longer have first dibs on the 7’2″ center. Thabeet will be eligible for the G League draft, as Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days notes (via Twitter).

Atlantic Notes: Sixers, Thybulle, Thabeet, Irving

Brett Brown knows what the bottom of the Eastern Conference looks like; now he wants to see the top. The Sixers coach declared his lofty goal during a luncheon speech today, relays Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “I want to get the No. 1 seed,” Brown told the gathering.

It’s a drastic turnaround for a coach who suffered through the worst of “The Process” and won just 10 games during the 2015/16 season. The Sixers are coming off back-to-back 50-win years and are still stinging from their playoff elimination by the eventual champion Raptors on a Kawhi Leonard shot that bounced on the rim several times before falling in.

Philadelphia enters this season as a co-favorite with the Bucks in the East. The team lost Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick in free agency, but re-signed Tobias Harris and added Al Horford and Josh Richardson.

“We have had back-to-back 50-win teams, we have a 25-year-old All-Star [Joel Embiid] and a 23-year-old All-Star [Ben Simmons],” Brown told Marc Narducci of The Philadelphia Inquirer. “We have the best team I have had this year. We have the deepest bench, we have veterans, we have men, we got pieces. [General manager] Elton Brand has done a hell of a job.”

There’s more from the Atlantic Division:

  • Matisse Thybulle has been medically cleared to practice when camp opens, Pompey tweets. The rookie guard rolled his ankle earlier this week, but the injury turned out to be minor. The Sixers traded up in this year’s draft to get Thybulle with the 20th pick.
  • The Knicks have an opening on their roster heading into camp, but they won’t use it to sign Hasheem Thabeet, according to Marc Berman of The New York Post. Thabeet worked out for New York and spent time with the team in August and September. The vacancy occurred because Kris Wilkes, who was expected to sign a two-way contract, is still battling an illness that will prevent him from attending camp.
  • Kyrie Irving is day to day after suffering a left side facial fracture, the Nets tweeted. The injury happened during a workout Tuesday.

New York Notes: Thabeet, Ntilikina, Nets, Fein

Free agent center Hasheem Thabeet will once again participate in workouts with the Knicks this week, agent Jerry Dianis tells Ian Begley of SNY.tv (Twitter link). Thabeet has spent a lot of time around the team lately, having worked out for New York in August and then again during the first week of September.

It remains unclear whether the Knicks are seriously interested in bringing Thabeet to training camp this fall. Currently, New York has a full 20-man roster, though if the team wants to sign the former No. 2 overall pick, it would be easy enough to create a roster spot by releasing a player with a non-guaranteed contract.

The Knicks’ projected 15-man regular season roster doesn’t feature any true centers besides Mitchell Robinson, so if Thabeet looks good, bringing him aboard for depth purposes could be appealing. However, the club has plenty of veteran power forwards who figure to see time at the five, including Taj Gibson, Julius Randle, and Bobby Portis.

Here’s more on both of New York’s teams:

  • Steve Popper of Newsday is skeptical that Frank Ntilikina will get the opportunity to play an increased role this season for the Knicks, even after the Frenchman’s impressive World Cup performance. As Popper notes, the team was willing to play stopgaps like Emmanuel Mudiay and Trey Burke over Ntilikina last season, and now may be more invested in getting Dennis Smith Jr. and Elfrid Payton regular minutes.
  • The Nets‘ new G League head coach, Shaun Fein, has a history with Brooklyn head coach Kenny Atkinson, as he tells Tom Dowd of BrooklynNets.com. Fein and Atkinson spent time together playing for French team Nantes during the 2001/02 season, with Atkinson provided crucial veteran guidance. “He kind of took me under his wing,” Fein said. “He was at the latter stages of his career and I was just beginning mine. I think as a first-year player, as an American, you’re in a foreign country, you don’t really know anything. … He kind of got me out of my comfort zone. ‘Hey, we’re going to go out, we’re going to go have dinner,’ and things like that. Kind of showed me how to live life as a basketball player in Europe. I was really appreciative of that.”
  • In case you missed it, we reviewed the Knicks‘ offseason on Friday and relayed word earlier today of the Nets hiring a new CEO.

And-Ones: World Cup, China, Thabeet

In a special piece for ESPN, Mark Woods takes an in-depth look (link) at all 32 teams vying to win the 2019 FIBA World Cup, which will be decided in Beijing on September 15, two weeks from today.

While recognizing that Team USA is the favorite, Woods does not have the Americans taking home the championship. His group winners include host nation China and the aforementioned U.S., in addition to Argentina, Spain, Serbia, Greece, France, and Australia.

Woods believes that all but two of the group winners will reach the quarterfinals, with Nigeria and Lithuania, finishing second in group play to Argentina and Australia respectively, replacing group winners France and China among the final eight teams.

Ultimately, Woods sees Team USA falling short of the championship game, with Australia falling to Serbia in the final. Be sure to tell us what you think in one of our latest Community Shootaround posts, here.

There’s more news from around the basketball world:

  • According to Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium, the Chinese Basketball Association is implementing a new guideline barring a player who is serving a drug or violence-related ban/suspension in another league from signing in the CBA. As Charania notes, the rule would prohibit someone like Tyreke Evans from signing with a team in the CBA.
  • After losing their first game in the 2019 FIBA World Cup to Matthew Dellavedova and Australia, Canada head coach Nick Nurse told the media that his team will have to play “extraordinary basketball” to beat Lithuania on Tuesday and advance past group play, per Lithuanian basketball reporter Donatas Urbonas (h/t to Sportando).
  • After working out for the Knicks once already (link), former No, 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet will continue to play in 5-on-5 scrimmages with the Knicks next week, reports Ian Begley of SportsNet New York. Begley adds that Thabeet will also work out a second time for the Bucks in about a week’s time.

Hasheem Thabeet Working Out For Knicks

The Knicks are the latest team to get an up-close look at former NBA center Hasheem Thabeet, tweets Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops. The organization verified its interest in Thabeet by tweeting out a photo this evening.

Thabeet had “impressive” workouts with the Nuggets in July and the Bucks earlier this month, Stinar adds. The big man will finish up with the Knicks this week and plans to visit Milwaukee again in September before training camps open.

The 32-year-old is best known for an unimpressive career after being taken with the second pick in the 2009 draft. He played for four teams in five seasons, but never topped his rookie averages of 3.1 points or 3.6 rebounds per game.

Thabeet played in Japan for part of last season and worked out for several NBA teams during All-Star Weekend. He is reportedly in much better shape and has been working to expand what he can do on offense.

Hasheem Thabeet To Work Out For Bucks

The Bucks will give Hasheem Thabeet a shot at returning to the NBA, tweets Ben Stinar of Amico Hoops. A league source tells Stinar that Thabeet has a workout scheduled next week in Milwaukee. He adds that the veteran center has been training heavily over the past year and has gotten comments about his “great shape” from several NBA teams.

Thabeet is regarded as a draft bust, putting together a lackluster career after being taken by Memphis with the second pick in 2009. He spent a season and a half with the Grizzlies before a trade sent him to the Rockets. He was shipped to the Trail Blazers a year later, then signed with the Thunder. He received training camp contracts from the Sixers and Pistons in 2014, but was waived by both teams and hasn’t been in the league since. Thabeet never topped his rookie numbers of 3.1 points and 3.6 rebounds per game.

He spent part of last season in Japan, then held workouts for several NBA teams in Charlotte during All-Star Weekend. A story surfaced in early June that Thabeet, now 32, was training up to three times a day and trying to improve his offensive repertoire.

The Bucks have one roster opening heading into next month’s training camp and could give Thabeet an opportunity if he has an impressive workout. Milwaukee has 16 players under contract (14 with fully guaranteed deals), along with a pair of two-way players and the expected signing of Rayjon Tucker.

Hasheem Thabeet Still Hoping For NBA Comeback

Former No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet hasn’t played in the NBA since the 2013/14 season, but he remains determined to return to the league, according to David Cobb of The Memphis Commercial Appeal, who reports that Thabeet is working out up to three times a day and is attempting to expand his offensive game.

“One thing that might be shocking to people is the past few months and few years that I haven’t really been playing, I’ve been working on my shot,” Thabeet said, per Cobb, who notes that the 7’3″ center is looking to develop a reliable jumper from the 15-23 feet range. “Just to be able to score away from the basket, rather than just posting up and shooting hook shots.”

Considered a rim-protecting defensive specialist out of UConn, Thabeet appeared in just 224 total games for the Grizzlies, Rockets, Trail Blazers, and Thunder, averaging 2.2 PPG, 2.7 RPG, and 0.8 BPG in 10.5 minutes per contest. His last stint on an NBA roster came in the fall of 2014, when he joined the Pistons for training camp.

The big man, who is still only 32 years old, played most recently in Japan for the Yokohama B-Corsairs. He also worked out for NBA teams during the 2019 All-Star break, as we previously relayed.

While Thabeet’s return to the NBA looks like a long shot, he remains optimistic about his future, and figures to be on the lookout for a training camp invite as teams fill their 20-man rosters during the coming offseason.

“There’s so many things I believe I can do,” Thabeet told Cobb.