The Sacramento Kings have something hiding deep on the bench that most NBA teams would love to have. Elite shot blockers don’t grow on trees and if things fall the right way for Hassan Whiteside, that is exactly what he could be for the Kings. Of course, we don’t want to get ahead of ourselves here. Whiteside played a total of two minutes during his rookie season. He has yet to score a basket, rebound a ball or block a shot at the NBA level and I think Coach Westphal said it best in our interview series from a week ago.
He’s been working hard. He’s an intriguing player, but it’s hard to even say what his progress is because there is no measurement of him competing in basketball to define progress. He’s been around watching and trying to pick up as much as you can by watching. He’s been working on his body. So much of what’s going to happen with him is going to depend on how completely his knee heals and how much he can pick up what the NBA is all about.
More after the jump…
If there is something to be encouraged about, it is that Hassan Whiteside appears to be dedicated to making himself an NBA player. Before training camp had even begun last season, Whiteside had already stacked on 25-pounds of pure muscle. Reinventing his body was stage one, and rumors have it that he has a new team of advisers working to get him ready mentally for the grind that is the NBA.
After successful knee surgery in early March, Whiteside should be ready for training camp…if there is a training camp. If the Kings strike out with Samuel Dalmebert or one of the other free agent centers, the Kings might have to accelerate the Hassan Whiteside experiment. At age 22, there is plenty of time to let this young player grow into something special.
Since there is so little footage of Whiteside as a professional, for today’s cup o’ Kings, we will go back to his college days at Marshall. Whiteside shows flashes of brilliance on both ends of the floor throughout this video. If he can put it all together, the Kings have a major second round steal.