Leading up to the NBA Draft last June, many on the Dream Shake were hoping the Rockets were going to angle to get Hassan Whiteside. Standing a full 7' and blocking shots at a healthy rate, those who hadn't seem him thought he could come in and become the Rockets center of the future at the #14 spot.
After falling to the Kings in the second round, there was even more anger at the fact that the Rockets hadn't nabbed Whiteside after buying three second rounders in the 2009 Draft. Now, with the Kings seemingly forgetting about him, his name has resurfaced here with even more clamoring for him to be included in any trade with the Kings.
There's only one problem: Whiteside is a horrible basketball player.
Scouts often fall in love with centers with length and athletic ability, but with Whiteside they really soured after watching him go against real NBA prospects. Additionally, he has a major ego problem and doesn't seem able to accept that he's nothing more than a prospect at this point.
After playing two minutes on opening night (he had 2 fouls, 0 points, and 0 rebounds), Whiteside has been inactive the rest of the season save a stint in the D-League. Playing against the Jeff Adrien's and Dexter Pittman's of the world, Whiteside has been unable to contribute more than 4.4 points and 2.7 rebounds in limited minutes. Given his struggles in the D-League, NBA success is clearly many, many years away if ever.
The fact is that despite his impressive athletic ability, Whiteside has so many holes in his game that he will likely never be a consistent contributor on an NBA team. He's way too skinny to defend in the post, allowing big men to pin him under the basket with ease, has absolutely no court awareness, and doesn't play hard enough to rebound consistently or defend well. Offensively, he has little to no touch and lacks the fundamentals to be a post player.
Could the light turn on? Perhaps, but the most likely conclusion to this story is that he becomes a poor-man's Theo Ratliff, a generic third center who is so limited in so many areas that he can't see the court for extended stretches.
So please, stop lobbying for his arrival to Houston. At this point he's like Hasheem Thabeet only four inches shorter. We don't need him.