NBA rumors have been swirling around Hassan Whiteside all season long because he is in the final year of his contract with the Miami Heat. Many were under the assumption that Heat president Pat Riley was going to trade away his rising center. Nothing happened at the NBA trade deadline, but the belief is that Whiteside will be wearing a new uniform next season. According to Sports Illustrated Fansided, the Los Angeles Lakers are a highly probable destination.
Shortly into the regular season, the Los Angeles Lakers realized that the NBA playoffs were not an option. They realized that the season should have been about sending Kobe Bryant off properly into retirement and about developing the younger players. It’s hard to blame Lakers general manager Mitch Kupchak for keeping his eye on the future. One of the big decisions that he will have to make is acquiring a new starting center.
Hassan Whiteside would be an upgrade over Roy Hibbert. Whiteside is much more athletic, so when D’Angelo Russell drives the lane, there are going to be many instances where he will have the option to heave up an alley oop to his soaring center. When it comes to shot blocking, Whiteside is superior to Hibbert as well, so the Los Angeles Lakers won’t be too decimated if the perimeter players are burnt by offensive players.
If things go right for the Los Angeles Lakers, then D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson will be their starting guards for the next decade. Russell just turned 20 years old, while Clarkson is merely 23 and has room to improve. The combination has shown sparks of being able to dominate games on the offensive end, so Hassan Whiteside can benefit from the interior lanes being so open.
Los Angeles Lakers fans are used to splashier names when it comes to free agency. Many are dreaming of Kevin Durant leaving the Oklahoma City Thunder for southern California. Hassan Whiteside might be a more achievable dream for the team.
[Featured Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images]