Why Brooklyn Nets Should Consider Signing Hassan Whiteside

Hassan Whiteside, Brooklyn Nets, NBA Rumors
NBA Analysis Network

The Brooklyn Nets could not be happier that the regular season is just around the corner. They had a tumultuous NBA offseason, with rumors swirling about the direction their franchise would be heading in. At the end of the day, everything turned out just how they hoped it would.

The Nets had to deal with their All-Star duo of Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving looking to leave town. Irving was seeking a long-term contract, something the Nets were unwilling to present to him. When he canvassed the league looking for one and was met with a cold market, he decided to opt into his contract for the 2022-23 season.

Just a few days following Irving’s opt-in, Durant requested a trade from the team. Brooklyn didn’t seem to ever really entertain trading Durant, as they set an astronomical asking price no team was willing to come close to meeting. He tried to strongarm the organization by issuing an ultimatum, saying it was either him or the duo of general manager Sean Marks and head coach Steve Nash.

That was something that the Nets entertained. After another meeting between the two sides, they agreed to continue their partnership. With Irving and Durant committed for at least one more season, this is a championship-caliber roster.

LATEST NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Hassan Whiteside & Brooklyn Nets Updates

They have the two stars that are essentially a prerequisite to compete and a strong supporting cast around them. This team will be a contender should they avoid injuries and drama. That is asking a lot, but if they can put aside differences, they can win a lot of games.

The only thing that this roster is really missing is some experience in the middle. In the last few years, they have had players such as DeAndre Jordan, Jeff Green, Blake Griffin and LaMarcus Aldridge that could soak up minutes at the center spot, providing some leadership and veteran stability. That is currently not present on the roster.

Brooklyn re-signed Nic Claxton and he will presumably be the starting center. However, the only other center on the roster is Day’Ron Sharpe, a first-round pick from the 2021 NBA Draft. Relying on such young players without a veteran safety net is certainly risky even with the league transitioning into a small-ball, positionless game.

LATEST NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Hassan Whiteside & Brooklyn Nets Updates

Markeiff Morris has played some center in his career, but he doesn’t possess the kind of size to bang with true big men that the Nets will see in the postseason should they make it that far. Joel Embiid, Bam Adebayo, Brook Lopez, Giannis Antetokounmpo, Clint Capela, Robert Williams, Nikola Vucevic, Mitchell Robinson, Jarrett Allen, Evan Mobley and Kristaps Porzingis all reside in the Eastern Conference alone.

Looking to bring in some experienced size, the Nets should strongly consider signing veteran Hassan Whiteside. Now 33 years old, Whiteside has shown that he can still control the paint even in limited action.

Last season with the Utah Jazz, Whiteside averaged 17.9 minutes per game as Rudy Gobert’s backup. He still managed to produce 8.2 points, 7.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game in that short period of time. Whiteside was efficient offensively as well, making 65.2 percent of his shot attempts.

LATEST NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Hassan Whiteside & Brooklyn Nets Updates

The Marshall product remains a free agent in large part because of the direction that the league is heading. Veteran big men that don’t offer something on the perimeter are going by the wayside as players such as Dwight Howard, Tristan Thompson and others remain unsigned.

However, some of the weaknesses that the Nets currently have would be addressed with the strengths that Whiteside possesses. Last season, Brooklyn was last in the NBA in defensive rebounding percentage. Whiteside would fix that instantly as the 29.9 defensive rebounding percentage he put up last season may have been his lowest since becoming a rotation player, but it would have still placed him in the top 10 of the league had he qualified.

LATEST NBA NEWS & RUMORS: Hassan Whiteside & Brooklyn Nets Updates

Standing 7 feet tall and listed at 265 pounds, Whiteside also possesses the size that the Nets lack to combat some of the big men they will run up against in their quest for an NBA Championship. It wouldn’t require much monetarily to bring Whiteside on and given the fact that the Nets have roster spots open, they wouldn’t have to make any changes to bring him aboard either.