SALT LAKE CITY, UTAH – APRIL 08: Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Utah Jazz dunks throughout the second half … [+]
The criticisms have been well-documented. Lazy, empty stats, cannot defend in space, not adequate to be a starter.. Hassan Whiteside has been a subject for years when fans of teams bring up center solutions.
At present time – late August, almost two months into NBA Free Agency – the veteran sits unsigned as teams within the association seemingly have begun to agree with the labels that is been attached to his name.
But, should they?
There are all the time multiple layers to a player, which makes blanket statements a poor start line. Let’s use the “lazy” moniker as our test.
Becoming even a fringe NBA player requires intense focus, incredible dedication, and a piece ethic that separates the intense from the not-so-serious. For Whiteside to not only make it to the league, but spending years putting up wild numbers (14.7 points, 12.5 rebounds, and a pair of.5 blocks from 2016 to 2020), makes it near unattainable for the typical basketball observer to justify an outline corresponding to “lazy”.
Nevertheless, inside the context of the NBA stars – a bunch Whiteside was often included in – he does tend to drift out and in of games, which puts him at a drawback against his peers. In a nutshell, Whiteside is not “lazy” when put next to the typical basketball player, but he doesn’t excel in the world of devotion when put next the typical NBA star.
Is that an issue? If he was asked to play 35 minutes a game, yes. It’s just a whole non-starter to have a man playing the overwhelming majority of the sport while being potentially less engaged than his matchup.
Nevertheless, Whiteside is not any longer tasked with such a task. As an alternative, the 33-year-old has spent the past two years backing up starting centers in Sacramento and Utah. In limited minutes, the previous double-double machine has put up 8.2 points, 7.0 rebounds, 1.5 blocks, and has connected on 61.6% of his shot attempts in only 16.9 minutes.
That variety of per-minute production is vast, and never a variety of backup centers can match it, especially in such a brief minutes allowance.
Which brings us to this.. While Whiteside cannot be trusted to protect in space (certainly one of the criticism points that is mostly accurate) throughout the playoffs, the team he’s on still must make it to the postseason in the primary place, and that is where he may help.
Costing not more than a minimum contract today, Whiteside offers substantial value as a productive center who will clean the glass, rating on putbacks and lobs, while sending away a couple of shots per game. For a team trying to maximise their regular season for a shot on the playoffs, that variety of production matters.
No risk, in anyway
As mentioned, Whiteside just isn’t more likely to command greater than the league’s minimum contract. If a team signs him, and so they one way or the other fail to get traction with him as their backup, he’d cost essentially nothing to get off the roster.
Also price mentioning is the proven fact that he would not cost draft picks to amass, attributable to his free agency status. Teams won’t need to make any long-term sacrifices to get him on board, meaning if it doesn’t work out, it is a conversation followed by mutual goodbyes at the top.
(That is the worst-case scenario, in truth.)
But really, most teams which have good-to-great locker room chemistry, and organizational cohesion, could turn Whiteside into an asset. He seems to reply to teams where guys wish to play with each other, and people are absolutely still around within the NBA today.
One team where Whiteside would make an intriguing fit is the Milwaukee Bucks.
Not only could Whiteside sub in for when Brook Lopez needs a breather, he could also help save Giannis Antetokounmpo from overburdened himself through the course of an extended 12 months by simply rebounding the ball, and scoring on putbacks. That is less effort on the a part of Antetokounmpo in attempting to continually sneak in for offensive rebounds, to assist in giving his team one other possession. With Whiteside around, Antetokounmpo could key in on other areas.
And, should Whiteside hit a speed bump within the playoffs, Antetokounmpo could easily absorb a big chunk of his minutes. Looks as if a win/win.
For now, though, Whiteside sits unsigned. Fame being the foremost offender.
As an alternative of specializing in Whiteside’s preconceived weaknesses, now is perhaps the time to attack this from a more positive perspective. In any case, the person of the hour himself did buy into his recent role, thus understanding his shortcomings. That is fairly crucial to providing a team with an in depth look of how he views himself.
Overall, teams in search of a backup center could do so much worse, than picking up Whiteside.