“With the 33rd pick in 2010 NBA Draft, the Sacramento Kings select Hassan Whiteside from Marshall University.“
With these words, commissioner of the NBA, Adam Silver, announced Whiteside’s selection by the Kings. Although he was selected together with DeMarcus Cousins, the lottery pick and the face and future of the franchise, he never imagined next 6 years like this.
In next four years, he played for four D-League teams, two teams from Lebanon and two from China. Oh, I forgot to mention he was signed and waived three times from NBA teams. On 24th November 2014, Miami signed him as a free agent. It looked like an episode we watched many times. On 13th December he was sent to D-League. Again. “Lebanon, get ready for Whiteside,” every NBA fan thought this. But, Whiteside didn’t.
Miami had a problem with injuries and after great performance returned him from D-League. And the history is changed! Until the end of the season, he managed to have 22 double-doubles! With 11.8 PPG, 10.0 RPG and 2.6 BPG. And last season was absolutely magnificent! 41 double-doubles, 3 triple-doubles and shocking 3.7 BPG! His contract with Miami last year weighted $981,348 per year, making him one of the best bargain contracts in the whole NBA.
So, Hassan, your time has come! It’s time to take what belongs to you boy! Take that damn money!
This will be a first big contract for Whiteside, a maximum one. Did he deserve it? I will say absolutely YES! No doubt! He is an elite attacker, rebounder and blocker. Excellent pick & roll defender and his presence in the paint is priceless. He can react sometimes slowly in defence and also his IQ and defensive instincts are questionable what classify him as a good defender, not an elite one.
He will be one of the most wanted free agents this summer, so where is he going to settle this offseason?
Miami Heat: When No One Else Believes in You
Of course, the first option is Miami. He is feeling great there, they gave him a chance when no one believed in him, also he loves the city and the whole franchise. But, why are we talking about other clubs if everything is great? It’s a tough summer for Miami. They want to re-sign D-Wade and Whiteside, they also want to sign Durant, but their salary cap is their unsurpassable obstacle.
Because of that, they want to pass it cheaper with Whiteside. His maximum contract is going to be around $22M and Miami wants to offer him $19M. Udonis Haslem said: “The team that gave you a chance when nobody else did, for me, it would be a no-brainer.” He is maybe right, but Whiteside needs to make the best deal for himself, not for the team.
He isn’t romantic about it, he is, as he said, “a businessman that plays basketball”. Pat Riley, it’s your turn! They can pay Hassan, but Wade needs to take a pay cut. It’s not going to be a huge one, but a pay cut is a must. Hassan also said that he will stay in Miami if the Heat offers him a maximum contract, so think twice about it! Don’t lose an All-Star caliber player for just $3M!
Los Angeles Lakers: City of Light
If Riley drops Whiteside, he will probably go to Los Angeles Lakers. They are chasing him and they are willing to give him a maximum contract. When you have Roy Hibbert and Robert Sacre at the center position and they are both free it’s time to chase desperately for a new center. They are building a new team, after retiring of Black Mamba and their young core of Russell, Clarkson, Ingram and Randle provides a bright future for Lakers. And with the addition of Whiteside and maybe Anderson sky is a limit.
The Los Angeles Lakers could be a great place for Hassan Whiteside. He could play in the starting lineup and with Randle, the Lakers could have a great duo in the paint.
Dallas Mavericks: Waiting for a Star
Another option for Whiteside is Dallas. Mavericks are great for Whiteside because he will get the money he wants and he will also work with Dirk Nowitzki. The knowledge he can acquire from working with Dirk is fundamental for his development. If Whiteside joins Mavs, they are probably not going to sign with David Lee and his massive contract, so it will make a space for Whiteside’s contract.
Dallas Mavericks have one of the best organization in the NBA. Hassan Whiteside will be the biggest star, because Dirk Nowitzki is not in his prime. But, the problem is an NBA title. They are far away at this moment and they don't have young players for the future.
Teams like Houston, Portland, and Golden State are also interested into Whiteside, but I don’t give them too many chances to bring Hassan to their city.
He wants a max contract and that is a big problem for the Miami Heat. Los Angeles Lakers will give him a max contract, and they are a contender with Miami to sign Hassan Whiteside.
It would be a very tough decision, but he must decide in the next few days.
Anyways, an interesting free agency is coming, so get ready for some great trades and signings this offseason.