Sacramento Kings wisely jump on Hassan Whiteside

Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images
Photo by Alika Jenner/Getty Images /

The Sacramento Kings snagged one of the best remaining free agents in Hassan Whiteside.

Hassan Whiteside’s NBA journey has officially come full circle with the Sacramento Kings.

From second-round draft pick to playing overseas to carving out a niche in the G League to his rise to prominence with the Miami Heat to being slightly overrated and overpaid to being completely overlooked in the free-agency market, Whiteside’s time in the league has led him to the place where it all began.

According to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, the Kings — who originally drafted him 33rd overall back in 2010 — have agreed to sign Whiteside to a one-year deal. James Hamm of NBC Sports reports it’s worth a one-year veteran minimum.

Hassan Whiteside is a bargain for the Sacramento Kings

In an offseason where most teams had limited cap room, Whiteside was never going to get a big deal. Even in a free-agency class that was slightly underwhelming, his perception around the league had somewhat soured after the Heat gave him an inflated four-year, $98 million contract back in 2016.

Now that that contract has expired, however, it’s a little daunting how long Whiteside remained on the market. Other teams’ loss could very well be the Kings’ gain at that price.

Whiteside’s main job with the Portland Trail Blazers last year was just buying time until Jusuf Nurkic could return, but despite his flaws, he lived up to expectations in the starting role. Whiteside averaged 15.5 points, 13.5 rebounds and a league-leading 2.9 blocks per game in a bounce-back season, starting in every game he played until Nurkic returned while shooting a cool 62.1 percent from the field.

The Kings just lost centers Harry Giles and Alex Len in free agency, and while they have Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley to feed minutes to in the frontcourt, on a veteran minimum deal, Whiteside is a bargain whether he’s starting or coming off the bench. He may be empty calories, and he does nothing to make up for the departure of Bogdan Bogdanovic, but it’s hard to get too upset over a one-year minimum deal.

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