Hassan Whiteside played a mere eight minutes off the bench in the Sacramento Kings’ 128-115 defeat at the hands of the Milwaukee Bucks this past Sunday. He finished with six points on nine shots.
At this point, it’s probably safe to call a time of death on Whiteside’s time in Sacramento. The Kings signed him to a one-year, $2.3 million contract this past offseason hoping that he would be able to replicate some of the success he had with the Portland Trail Blazers.
Unfortunately, it just never came together for either side.
Whiteside is averaging just 8.3 points and 5.7 rebounds in 14.6 minutes of action per outing. That’s a far cry from the 15.5 points and 13.5 rebounds he was giving Portland in 30 minutes per game last year.
Whenever Richaun Holmes is healthy, he gets the majority of Whiteside’s minutes. That is unlikely to change any time soon.
Over the past few weeks, rumors have emerged that Sacramento would be open to dealing Whiteside.
One potential suitor? The Los Angeles Lakers.
According to Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times, Whiteside is a “possible target” for the Lakers.
The pair also confirmed that LA is looking to bolster its frontcourt in light of Anthony Davis likely being out for at least a month.
“The team will, however, monitor the buyout and trade markets for potential additions to their frontcourt,” Woike and Broderick wrote.
Now we know why Tiger Woods was in such a hurry. https://t.co/IxaMxsS2ft
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 24, 2021
Whiteside could really help LA from a defensive standpoint, essentially filling the gap left behind by Dwight Howard. While some combination of Kyle Kuzma, Markieff Morris and Marc Gasol can work together to make up the offense lost with Davis out, none are particularly imposing on the defensive side of the ball. Whiteside is.
That said, the Lakers are working on some other moves which could preclude them from making this one. They are one of two teams in the hunt for Andre Drummond of the Cleveland Cavaliers and Mo Bamba of the Orlando Magic, as well as one of two potential landing spots for Blake Griffin of the Detroit Pistons.
If not LA, the Boston Celtics would also make a whole lot of sense for Whiteside’s services. The team went out and acquired Tristan Thompson in the offseason to help them shore up the middle, but he simply hasn’t fit in.
— Game 7 (@game7__) February 21, 2021
Two weeks ago, a report surfaced that the Celtics were “up to something” big. It was suggested that Boston was looking to “bolster its wing and big man position.” Whiteside would sort of do that. Plus, the team is badly struggling right now and needs some sort of boost.
Either way, it has become abundantly clear that Whiteside is a bad fit on the Kings roster. He could be far more useful elsewhere, and Sacramento would be best served utilizing him in some sort of deal that can help the organization long-term.
Whether or not Whiteside lands with the Lakers or Celtics remains to be seen, but odds are he will finish this year in a different uniform than the one he started in.