Hasheem Thabeet's NBA career has never really gotten started since being the No. 2 overall pick to the Memphis Grizzlies in 2009. He's played for four teams already and finds himself on the move again.
ESPN has learned that Oklahoma City is trading Hasheem Thabeet to Philadelphia— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 26, 2014
However, Stein also reported that Thabeet won't actually suit up for the 76ers because the team is going to waive him and the Thunder will get some financial relief in the process:
Thabeet, I'm told, is likely to be waived immediately by Sixers after completion of trade— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 26, 2014
Thunder, I'm told, will send cash considerations to Sixers so Philly will absorb Thabeet's contract. OKC thus creates $1.25 million TPE— Marc Stein (@ESPNSteinLine) August 26, 2014
The 76ers already have one young center in Nerlens Noel ready to play this season after sitting out all of 2013-14 recovering from a knee injury and another one in Joel Embiid won't be ready at least until November, according to general manager Sam Hinkie (h/t CSNPhilly.com).
As a result, Thabeet really would have no place in Philadelphia. The 76ers are still trying to build for their future after trading Thaddeus Young to Minnesota for a protected first-round pick as part of the Kevin Love deal that also included Cleveland.
With the Thunder also sending money to Philadelphia to cover Thabeet's deal, it means the team is still only on the hook for just over $24 million in salary commitments for the 2014-15 season, as noted by Michael Levin of LibertyBallers.com:
This deal certainly won't put an end to talk of the 76ers potentially tanking for whatever reason. They aren't paying for Thabeet and, according to Brian Windhorst of ESPN.com, were opposed to the NBA's proposal in July that would balance out lottery odds instead of giving the team with the worst record the most ping-pong balls.
The rough draft of this plan was met with opposition by 76ers management, which is in the midst of a multiseason rebuilding project that is dependent on a high pick next year. The 76ers, sources said, are hoping to get the NBA to delay the plan's implementation for at least a year because it would act as a de facto punishment while just playing by the rules that have been in place.
To say that Thabeet has been a disappointment in the NBA is an understatement. He's been with four franchises, if we include Philadelphia, in five years and averaged 2.2 points and 2.7 rebounds in 224 games.
Thabeet was taken in the same draft as Blake Griffin, who went No. 1 overall to the Los Angeles Clippers, and ahead of James Harden, Stephen Curry and DeMar DeRozan. Now, five short years later, it would be a surprise if he ever turns into something more than a D-league guy with occasional appearances on an NBA roster.