Veteran center Hassan Whiteside was nothing but a huge disappointment from the time he inked a max contract with the Miami Heat in the summer of 2016. After another season filled with drama and frustrations, the Heat finally decided to part ways with Whiteside, sending him to the Portland Trail Blazers in the four-team deal that also involved the Philadelphia 76ers and the Los Angeles Clippers. Despite how things ended for him in South Beach, Whiteside remains optimistic about his future in the league.
Hassan Whiteside is yet to play a single game as a Trail Blazer, but he does seem to like what he is seeing on his new team. In an interview with Jason Quick of The Athletic, Whiteside said that he expects to revive his NBA career in his first year in Portland. Whiteside also went as far as saying that he will finish the 2019-20 NBA season averaging “triple-double with assists.”
“I think I’m going to blossom a lot here,” Whiteside said, as quoted by CBS Sports. “They have so much movement, they have so many different plays and reads, I can probably get a triple-double with assists here. You know, I’ve been getting so many assists and dimes … I’m playing more like a point-center here.”
When he’s given enough playing time, averaging double-digits in points and rebounds would be easy for Hassan Whiteside. However, from the time he set foot in the NBA in 2010, Whiteside has never been a good facilitator. Still, though he may sound ambitious to some people, Whiteside strongly believes that averaging triple-double is a realistic goal for him in the 2019-20 NBA season, especially now that he’s playing on an NBA team with incredible shooters like Damian Lillard and C.J. McCollum.
“There’s scrimmages we have where I have six, seven assists like that,” Whiteside said. “I got Dame (Lillard) and CJ (McCollum) — them guys can shoot. All I have to do is give them the ball for an easy assist. It’s so much … it’s so different. You are going to see. You are going to see. Keep this interview.”
The Trail Blazers only traded for Hassan Whiteside so that they could have a temporary starting center while waiting for Jusuf Nurkic to fully recover from injury. However, if Whiteside manages to put his words into actions about averaging “triple-double with assists,” he has a strong chance of keeping the starting spot even if Nurkic returns. If he struggles and becomes cancer in the locker room, the Trail Blazers may consider moving Whiteside before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.