Big men are often labeled as "projects" of one type or another going into the NBA. Many teams roll the dice on someone that fits the physical ideal, and hope that the investment pays off. If there was a scenario in which your project-player could mature elsewhere until he's worth his paycheck, we'd all go for it. I am here suggesting that Solomon Alabi might just fit this bill.
At 7' 1" and 250 pounds, and with a 7'5" wingspan, Alabi has some great physical tools to work with. Though initially projected as a surefire first-round pick in the 2010 draft, the discovery of Alabi's status as an HBV carrier may have been enough to lower his stock significantly. He was picked #50 overall by the Mavericks.
After two years of gruntwork in the NBA and D-League, Alabi was given his first significant NBA playing time in April of 2012. In the only four games of the season where he saw more than five minutes on the court, these were his numbers:
1) 8 pts, 9 reb, 1 blk, 2 turnovers in 24 minutes against Atlanta
2) 2 pts, 6 reb, 2 blk, 2 turnovers in 10 minutes against Miami
3) 6 pts, 10 reb, 1 blk, 0 turnovers in 24 minutes against Detroit
4) 11pts, 19 reb, 3 blk, 0 turnovers in 40 minutes against New Jersey
Again, these were in the junkyard days of a junkyard season, but the numbers are enough to ask the question: is Alabi, a restricted free agent, worth throwing some money at this season? If so, how much?