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NBA Rumors: Former No. 2 Pick Hasheem Thabeet Works out for Knicks; Bucks Next

Mike Chiari@mikechiariFeatured ColumnistAugust 29, 2019

OKLAHOMA CITY, OK - May 25: Hasheem Thabeet #34 of the Oklahoma City Thunder handles the ball against the San Antonio Spurs in Game 3 of the Western Conference Finals during the 2014 NBA Playoffs at the Chesapeake Arena on May 25, 2014 in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. NOTE TO USER:  User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and/or using this photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice:  Copyright 2014 NBAE (Photo by Richard Rowe/NBAE via Getty Images)
Richard Rowe/Getty Images

Former NBA center Hasheem Thabeet has reportedly been taking part in informal scrimmages with the New York Knicks this week.

According to SNY's Ian Begley, Thabeet has worked out for "several teams" and is expected to work out again for the Milwaukee Bucks soon.

Thabeet was selected by the Memphis Grizzlies with the No. 2 overall pick in the 2009 NBA draft out of UConn.

Begley noted that the Knicks have 19 players under contract for training camp, meaning they have room to sign Thabeet if he managed to impress during the scrimmages.

After being named Big East Co-Player of the Year in 2009 and twice being honored as the top defensive player in college basketball, Thabeet was expected to be a force on the defensive end at the NBA level.

Instead, the 7'3" native of Tanzania bounced around to four different teams in five NBA seasons and never established himself as anything more than an end-of-the-bench big.

The most action Thabeet saw came as a rookie in 2009-10 when he appeared in 68 games and made 13 starts. He averaged 3.1 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.3 blocks in just 13.0 minutes per game.

After that, Thabeet spent time with the Houston Rockets, Portland Trail Blazers and Oklahoma City Thunder. His last regular-season NBA action was in 2013-14 with OKC, although he was part of the Detroit Pistons' training camp and preseason roster in 2014.

In 2014-15, Thabeet appeared in 48 games for Grand Rapids of the NBA G League, averaging 8.6 points, 6.2 rebounds and 2.4 blocks. He later spent some time playing in Japan.

Now 32, Thabeet has been out of the spotlight for several years, but it isn't a stretch to imagine him being a useful player for an NBA team.

He possesses uncommon size and has always been a strong rim defender. Even if he is the type of player who only gets on the court for a couple of minutes per game in specialized situations, returning to the NBA would be a major redemption story for a former high pick who seemed unlikely to ever get another shot.