Let Him Be: Why Hasheem Thabeet Should Stay in the D-League

A. Enslen ButlerContributor IMarch 9, 2010

PHOENIX - NOVEMBER 25:  Hasheem Thabeet #34 of the Memphis Grizzlies during the NBA game against the Phoenix Suns at US Airways Center on November 25, 2009 in Phoenix, Arizona.  The Suns defeated the Grizzlies 126-111.  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.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
Christian Petersen/Getty Images

Hasheem Thabeet is back with the Memphis Grizzlies.

Remember all of that talk about letting the second overall pick in the 2009 NBA Draft work on his game and get experience?

Well, it lasted all of six games with the Dakota Wizards.

Thabeet averaged a double-double with 13.8 points and 11.2 rebounds along with 3.17 blocks on 50 percent shooting in 31.3 minutes.

For what it was worth, Dakota went 5-1 with Thabeet in the lineup.

So why didn't the team leave him in the D-League? I would understand if there was an injury to the frontcourt. If Marc Gasol or Zach Randolph was hurt, I would understand his return.

But nothing will change. Hamed Haddadi will get the majority of the backup center minutes and Thabeet will be stapled to the bench.

I do not know the harm of leaving him in the D-League for the rest of the season. Any team that struggles to put away the New Jersey Nets at home cannot say they are a playoff team. So the Grizzlies will be improved, but in the back half of the NBA lottery.

In the D-League, he was getting minutes and getting comfortable playing with his teammates.

"He runs the floor and he blocks shots, but he needs to keep working on rebounding, and overall court awareness—being in the right place at the right time," Grizzlies assistant Dave Joerger said to the Bismarck Tribune. "He can go and get some low-post touches. ... We have a lot of offensive guys, and he's not going to be a go-to option with the way team is currently constructed. He can get the chance to set good screen-and-rolls, rolling to basket, things like that."

The Wizards are currently off for seven days. Is it possible that moving him back to Memphis is temporary?

I hope so. You have already embarrassed yourself and Thabeet by sending him to the D-League in the first place. Do not banish him to the bench with no end in sight.

If Memphis wants to do what is best for Thabeet and the Grizzlies, they will send him right back to the Dakotas and leave him there.


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