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Oklahoma City Thunder feel 'very confident' in Hasheem Thabeet

Head coach Scott Brooks feels that Hasheem Thabeet can be a productive as a back up center for the Thunder this season.

Mark D. Smith-US PRESSWIRE

When the Oklahoma City Thunder decided to trade James Harden he was the main piece in the deal. However, the Thunder also sent backup center Cole Aldrich to the Houston Rockets. With Aldrich gone, that means the next man in line to play backup center is former No. 2 overall pick Hasheem Thabeet.

Thabeet has struggled in his career, and was even sent to the NBA Developmental League back in 2010, when he was with the Memphis Grizzlies. This is his fourth NBA team since he came into the league in 2009, so there is some concern with the Thunder having Thabeet as their backup center.

During the preseason Thabeet played well in stretches during the preseason, and head coach Scott Brooks is comfortable with him as the backup center:

"What Thabeet has shown the last four or five weeks, we feel very confident that he can do a very good job for us," Brooks said. "He's shown a lot of toughness, ability to protect the basket and he's athletic. You don't look at 7-foot-3 guys and say he's an athlete, but he's an athlete. He can move around pretty good for a guy his size."

The Thunder also have two open roster spots, so they can go out and find another center if they need to add some more depth. Plus, the team is versatile and can have other players step up at the five spot.

Brooks mentioned that Serge Ibaka can play center if teams go to a small lineup. Plus, there is Nick Collision who is a forward, but has played center a lot during his career and is capable of doing so.

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