Quietly, Hassan Whiteside had one of his best campaigns as an NBA professional last season.
Backing up perennial Defensive Player of the Year candidate Rudy Gobert in Utah, Whiteside supplied solid rim protection and play finishing on offense to mitigate the absence of the Stifle Tower whenever Gobert was taking a breather.
Appearing in 65 games, he averaged 16.5 points, 15.3 rebounds, and 3.2 blocks per 36 minutes last year. He also notched his highest defensive box plus-minus — a stat that “measures the difference per 100 possessions in points allowed with a player on the court versus off the court” according to NBAstuffer — at 1.4 since his 2015-16 season with the Miami Heat. He also put up his greatest win shares per 48 minutes so far in his career with .238.
By many measures, Whiteside has evolved into a better player than he was even in his heyday with the Miami Heat. Perhaps more importantly, he played his role as a backup admirably last season with not a drop of unnecessary drama.
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It’s clear that he’s ready to contribute at a high level for a title hopeful, even if it means coming off of the pine again.
Here are three teams that should add him to their roster this summer: