The Portland Trail Blazers faithful had high hopes when their team traded Meyers Leonard and Moe Harkless over the summer to acquire Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside. The acquisition was as big in name value as any the Blazers had participated in for the last decade. According to Michael Shapiro of SI.com, the celebration may have been premature. Whiteside’s play has been adequate, but ultimately unsatisfactory.
Grading major off-season moves around the NBA, Shapiro gives Portland a C- for the Whiteside deal.
Is anyone particularly surprised that Hassan Whiteside hasn’t fixed Portland’s frontcourt woes? The former Heat center entered Rip City after a rocky final two years in Miami, a pair of seasons littered with lazy rotations, poor shot selection and general discontent. We haven’t seen any outward displays of frustration from Whiteside with the Blazers, but unfortunately, his play has remained middling at best.
He is not predicting a rosy future for the Blazers and their new center.
The Whiteside addition won’t harm Portland in the long-term. He’s an expiring contract, and Zach Collins and Jusuf Nurkic should be fully healthy for 2020-21. But this season is increasingly looking like a lost year in Portland, and Whiteside has failed to bring the Blazers closer to respectability.
Shapiro details Whiteside’s struggles in a fractured starting lineup. He also grades trades for Anthony Davis, Russell Westbrook, Kyrie Irving, and a host of New York Knicks players.