Hassan Whiteside tallied 18 points, 17 rebounds and 7 blocks on Wednesday but couldn’t prevent Miami Heat’s upset loss to Los Angeles Lakers. After the game, the shot-blocking phenomenon was asked about the rumors linking him to the Purple & Gold.
Whiteside’s response proved two things: 1) There is mutual interest, and 2) Whiteside likes the attention. You can take this to the bank: he will grant Lakers a free agency meeting this forthcoming offseason, per latest Lakers Rumors.
“They’ve been talking about me and the Lakers? I didn’t know that.” Really, Hassan? Do we expect to believe that you have been completely oblivious to all the rumors? Sure.
Perhaps, Whiteside’s response has a lot to do with what happened prior to the 2014-15 season. When Whiteside was still a D-Leaguer, he attended a Lakers workout. As fate would have it, the Lakers were stupid enough to let him walk and join Miami Heat. Whiteside actually wanted to be a Laker.
Previous rejected by Lakers…
After being rejected by the Lakers, Whiteside said, “I worked out for the Lakers. I thought they could use me. I guess not.” Fast forward to 18 months and Whiteside is the best rim protector in the NBA. By expressing shock at Lakers’ newfound interest, is Whiteside trying to say “I told you so”?
Do the Lakers regret letting him walk? Sure, they do. They could have saved so much cap space by signing Whiteside to an economical deal last season. They could have ensured that Whiteside didn’t enter free agency for a while. And now, they have to battle with at least four or five teams who will all throw max offers at the seven-footer when free agency begins at exactly 12:01 a.m. ET on July 1.
Lakers Rumors: Nick Young Refusing To Forgive D’Angelo Russell?
Why should Whiteside consider the Lakers? They have proven to be a dysfunctional bunch for the last 3 seasons. If money is what Whiteside is after, Lakers can offer him more than most teams since they are projected to have close to $68 million and need to assign the Franchise Player Tag to someone new, since Kobe Bryant is on his way out. Therefore, the Lakers must appeal to Whiteside.
Does Whiteside hold a beef?
According to Whiteside, he had proven enough during that workout session with the Lakers to merit additional inspection. “I know Byron Scott (Lakers coach) was there and a couple of other front-office guys. It was like a two-on-two workout. I did it before I worked out for the Heat. Obviously, they went another direction. But I think L.A. knows what I can do.”
Whiteside also reminded the world that Lakers selected Wayne Ellington, just a role player, ahead of him to fill out the last roster spot prior to the 2014-15 season.
“I think they signed Wayne Ellington instead,” he said of the wing now signed with Brooklyn Nets. “I thought I had a really good workout. I caught alley oops, spin lobs, kind of did everything I do now.”
Did the Lakers cost themselves a shot at signing Hassan Whiteside in free agency? Is Whiteside willing to forget what happened prior to last season? Stay tuned for latest Lakers Rumors.