Hasheem Thabeet has been a pretty remarkable disappointment since he joined the Memphis Grizzlies as the second overall pick in the 2009 Draft. It's pretty rare that a pick that high doesn't even last two years with his team, and they have to trade him and a first round pick just to get rid of him. But now, he is the Rockets major disappointment!
I didn't mean to be that dark. The Rockets took a chance on a big center with a role player on a team that likely won't make the playoffs; and they got a pick for the trouble. Our Rockets blog, The Dream Shake, says it's a chance worth taking.
When I kept saying "AsSoonAsWeGetACenter" I didn't mean Hasheem Thabeet. That said, he's 7'2". He really is. That is the sort of height you like to see in a center. We have a shot to develop him and see if he might turn into an NBA player. There are still FA centers this summer. There's still a (good) chance Yao re-signs. The Rockets turned an expiring contract into a 1st rounder and a guy who has an excellent ability to be 7'2". If Thabeet works out as well as the last guy we got from Memphis, we'll be laughing. Hey, he's tall, he's foreign, English isn't his native language. That's always worked well for us before.
Thabeet is a classic buy low prospect. He hasn't shown much ability in Memphis, but at the same time, he doesn't have the expectations of being second overall pick now that he is in Houston. Maybe a change of scenery to a place where not as much is expected of him could be exactly what he needs. Worst case, the Rockets got a first round pick for Shane Battier, and aging role player. Best case, they got a first rounder and a center who could develop into an intimidating defensive presence. No matter how slim the odds, it is still a chance worth taking.