Originally posted on Crossover Chronicles  |  Last updated 9/17/12

“Imposing physical specimen who protects the basket….”

That was just one of the sentences used in an NBA scouting report to describe Hasheem Thatbeet’s ability coming out of Connecticut back before the Memphis Grizzlies selected the 7-foot center as the second overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft.

Now three years and four teams later, one word can be applied to Thabeet’s lackluster NBA career thus far: potential.

After going from Memphis, to Houston and finishing the season in Portland last year, the Oklahoma City Thunder signed Thabeet to a bargain basement free agent deal where the front office and coaching staff are banking on this being the year Thabeet reaches his “potential” in the league.

Chosen between Blake Griffin of Oklahoma and James Harden of Arizona State in the ’09 draft, that duo has flourished both in their respective team settings in Los Angeles and Oklahoma City, and also on an individual level as Team USA selections -- and even a gold medal winner in Harden.

What does Thabeet have to show for the last three years? Try 2.2 points, 2.7 rebounds and 0.9 blocks in 10.3 minutes per game (135 career games).

That was then. Thabeet and the Thunder now move forward together hoping this time is different.

Thabeet told The Oklahoman:

Every situation in the past doesn't really matter. The present is what I've got to face.

I've got to deal with what I can control, come in and work hard and just be a part of the team. It's another situation, so I've got to come in with a different mentality and be ready to work hard.

This offseason, Thabeet has been working out at the Thunder practice facility and even putting in work with both Cole Aldrich and Daniel Orton, who will battle along with Thabeet as the likely back-up center core behind Kendrick Perkins.

Right now, Oklahoma City is not sure what it will get out of Perkins who is coming off surgery to his groin and left wrist. But in the same light, the Thunder are still wondering too what they will get out of Thabeet. Memphis, Houston and Portland asked themselves that question repeatedly over the last three seasons.

Yet Oklahoma City actually has something those three teams did not: the potential to win an NBA Championship.

Knowing you can boast about Kevin Durant, Russell Westbrook and James Harden on the roster and on the floor, just might take some heat off of Thabeet to where he can adjust and find his role on the team versus coming straight out of college and viewed as being “the man”.

“I'm happy with what I can do any time I step out there,” Thabeet said. “I'm not worrying about anything I can't control. What I can control is to work hard, be a good teammate, listen to the coaches and come in ready to work.”

It sounds like Thabeet is taking the right approach to another fresh start in OKC.

Images: Thunder Obsessed, Christian Peterson/Getty Images

[follow]

This article first appeared on Crossover Chronicles and was syndicated with permission.

GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Browns’ Joe Thomas: ‘I’m already seeing memory loss’

Westbrook hasn’t ‘even thought about’ contract extension

Pirates call up Gift Ngoepe, first MLB player from African continent

‘Well-connected’ people believe Trubisky will go No. 1

Teams could trade into first round for Davis Webb

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: No communication between Derrick Henry, Titans

Adrian Peterson releases statement about joining Saints

Marshawn Lynch confirms he has joined the Raiders

Report: Titans reportedly looking to trade out of top five

Report: Doc Rivers will remain with the Clippers

Rondo rules himself out for Game 5, unsure about Game 6

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Box Score 4/26: NFL Draft eve

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

NFL Draft X-factor players you may have missed during their college careers

NBA News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

The 'Bonehead blunder that watered down the 1931 AL home run crown' quiz

Draft prospects we're most excited to see in the NFL

Stanley Cup Playoffs: The West is full of surprises

Everything you need for the 2017 NFL Draft

The 10 best sports docs available for streaming

How the Astros are following the Cubs' blueprint to the top

The 'QB or not QB? That is the question' quiz

NBA Referee Hotline Bling: Paul Millsap needs a twin phone

Perfect matches: Handpicking players for certain teams in the 2017 NFL Draft

NFL Draft do-overs we'd most like to see

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker