After the Lakers drafted small forward Brandon Ingram, they now turn their attention to a starting caliber center. Enter Hassan Whiteside. The Miami Heat center came from the NBA Developmental League to lead the league in blocks this past season. First reported by Ramona Shelbourne and Marc Stein of ESPN, the Lakers are looking to court the big man.
Whiteside will be looking for a max contract, and with the Lakers having the most cap space in the NBA, they will more than likely be able to offer it to him. This works out for both parties, seeing as the Lakers want to remain relatively young and Whiteside is only 27 years old. Not only will the Lakers finally have a center that can protect the paint, but he will be a dependable pick and roll partner for D’Angelo Russell and Jordan Clarkson. He shot an efficient 65.7% around the rim. Given the fact that the Lakers’ previous center had a penchant for spending most of his time on his ass and not catching balls out of the pick and roll, Whiteside would be a welcome addition to the team.
The past few seasons have not been kind to the Lakers in terms of free agency. While they chased the big named free agents, they missed out on solid role players which would be able to contribute to the team. With the Miami Heat being on the list of organizations trying to whisk away Kevin Durant from the Oklahoma City Thunder, the Lakers are in a position to acquire Whiteside and his services.
This is a win-win situation for both sides. The Lakers will get a shot blocking center they haven’t had since that player wearing 12 left for Houston and with the opportunity that Whiteside will get with the Lakers his bigger role could lead to a higher rating. You know what I mean.
Free agency will start up July 1st. Until then we will sit and wait before the pandemonium begins.
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