The Los Angeles Lakers worked out former second-overall pick Hasheem Thabeet, according to Alex Kennedy of Basketball Insiders. Kennedy does not specify when the team worked him out or who witnessed it, but did note it was “recently.” The New York Knicks and Washington Wizards also reportedly worked out Thabeet.
Signs don’t point towards the former Memphis Grizzlies, Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers, and Oklahoma City Thunder big man being a contributor, or a particularly likely option to even be signed for several reasons. Thabeet averaged 1.2 points, 2.7 rebounds, and 0.8 blocks in 8.3 minutes per game for the Thunder during the 2013-14 season, his last in the NBA.
Kennedy’s profile of Thabeet features some glowing anecdotes concerning his improvement from people close to him, but it’s hard to picture him doing enough to truly put himself in the conversation to join the Lakers’ already crowded frontcourt.
Therein lies the other issue with a Thabeet signing: fit. Even if he did display talent he has not yet flashed, unless he is truly ready to play up to the level people expect from a second overall pick, it’s hard to see where the Lakers have a need for Thabeet. The team signed Timofey Mozgov to a gargantuan contract over the summer, re-signed back-up big man Tarik Black, and have stated their desire to try Julius Randle at the five at times. This is most likely just a case of the front office doing due diligence.
Thabeet’s size and draft pedigree will ensure he stays on NBA radars for as long as he wants to be, but don’t go out and buy a customized Lakers jersey with his name on it just yet.
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