Thabeet goes to D-League
Some people will tell you Hasheem Thabeet’s demotion to the NBA’s D-League isn’t really all that big of a deal.
Those people would be wrong.
Hasheem Thabeet’s demotion makes him the highest drafted NBA player to be demoted to the D-League. Making history in and of itself is noteworthy alone. However, the most damaging thing about the demotion is that Thabeet deserved it.
First and foremost, Thabeet has not managed to garner any playing time. At 7’3 and the second pick in the NBA Draft, 10.3 minutes per game is very disappointing. Granted, his team, the Memphis Grizzlies, are a lot better than your typical team that drafted second in the draft, but it’s not as if there are a lot of high profile guys on the Grizzlies bench preventing Thabeet from getting on the floor. The fact is Thabeet’s performance on the basketball court is not warranting any consideration of more playing time.
Thabeet is averaging a mere 2.5 points per game, more than 6 fouls per 35 minutes and he has just 47 field goals in 50 games. Numbers like those usually do more than get you sent down to the D-League.
But Thabeet is fortunate; his demotion to the D-League is merely temporary. He has been sent down to the D-League for just 10 days, in which he will play in 6 games. There’s no reason he shouldn’t be able to handle a butt-load of minutes during this span given that he hasn’t exactly exhausted himself during the NBA season. In fact, if he averages 40 or so minutes over the next 6 games, he would have accumulated nearly half the number of minutes he’s accumulated all season long. That’s a lot of basketball experience over a period of just 10 days.
While going to the D-League will give Thabeet some much needed time on the basketball court, his demotion still is a troublesome time. Players selected at his spot in the draft aren’t supposed to be subject to such a demotion. At the very least, the second overall pick should have the people who drafted him salivating over his future as an NBA pro. But this decision from the Grizzlies brass speaks to how quickly they have soured on Thabeet’s talent and potential, and it also lends to the idea that Thabeet hasn’t been impressive in practice either.
I wish I could say Thabeet’s demotion is just the first step in the right direction for this man, but history doesn’t show us that. The best players to come out of the D-League in recent years includes players, such as Shannon Brown, Jordan Farmar, Aaron Brooks and Chris Anderson. Those are good players, but their ceilings are from what we would expect from anyone drafted with the #2 pick in the NBA Lottery. So even if Thabeet turns out to rank among the best D-League players ever, such a feat would be a far cry from what the Grizzlies expected of him when they anticipated Thabeet to be a cornerstone of the franchise.
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