Hassan Whiteside (Marshall)
7'0, Center, 230 lbs.
Whiteside ended up playing at Marshall largely due to academics and has flown under the radar to many people except NBA scouts. At 7'0 and possessing a 7'7 wingspan, Whiteside terrorizes opponents with his shot blocking. However, there is no player out there that is more raw or with more attitude concerns; including DeMarcus Cousins.
Whiteside lacks the strength to frequently post up defenders successfully though he shows solid footwork and can score on jump hooks when he's able to get position. He also uses a mid range jumper occasionally that he hits at a decent rate, but must of his points come on junk baskets through offensive rebounding, lobs, and lay-ups. He is, however, very fast and will be able to score in transition.
Whiteside lacks basketball IQ and doesn't know where to be on the court. Even for his age, his lack of awareness is astoundingly bad. His assist totals makes Eddy Curry look like Steve Nash as he had 9 assists all of last season. Gaining strength, desire, and court awareness will be key to becoming some kind of threat offensively.
The positives come on the defensive end where Whiteside terrorizes opponents with his weak side shot blocking, racking up nearly six a game. His frame shows room to add muscle, so he should benefit from an NBA workout regimen. However, Whiteside lacks the strength to guard post-up players and at times shows a lack of interest defending players who already gained post-up position.
How does he fit in the NBA?
Whiteside is one of those players that could be a great player if he shows desire, can gain basketball I.Q., and add weight. However, he has had so many off the court issues, behavioral issues and sometimes plays without much motor. Players with that combination frequently flame out of the league regardless of their potential, and teams will need to do their homework on Whiteside to evaluate the risk vs the reward.
Whiteside could go anywhere from mid-lottery to late first depending on how teams weigh the risks involved. If maxed out, Whiteside could become a Marcus Camby type player, but he could easily be out of the league in two years as well.
How does he fit with the Bulls?
Even though the Bulls have Joakim Noah, Whiteside at max effort is a great trade piece, or a great pick to take a chance on. However, I really do not like taking this big of a risk on a team solidifying their team with good attitudes and I do not see the Bulls taking a risk on him either. After trading Tyrus, dealing with Ben Wallace, and getting rid of other malcontent attitudes, drafting Whiteside would be a step back in that direction. This is a really deep draft in terms of getting a player that provides at least a unique skill and he is too much of a risk for me at pick 17 or higher.