The Trail Blazers’ 50-year anniversary season is temporarily on pause as the NBA goes on hiatus to slow the spread of COVID-19. During that break, Blazer’s Edge is counting down the top 100 Blazers: players, executives, and other influencers who made the franchise what it is today.
No. 99 | Hassan Whiteside
Games Played with Blazers: 61 Regular Season | 0 Postseason
*PTS: 16.3 | REB: 14.2 | BLK: 3.1 | FG%: 61.8
*Statistics are pulled from a player’s time in Portland
Joined Club: July 2019, traded in a multi-team deal for Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard
Departed Club: Current Player
Place in History:
Plenty of centers have averaged double-doubles in the NBA, a few for the Portland Trail Blazers. But centers cranking out rebounds like clockwork, hitting 62% from the field, while generating more than 15 points per game and averaging 3 blocked shots are as rare as hen’s teeth. Those numbers would have been an accomplishment in the heyday of centers. Kevin Duckworth and Sam Bowie never got close; Arvydas Sabonis’ best year doesn’t equal Whiteside’s output.
In 61 appearances filling in for the injured Jusuf Nurkic, Hassan Whiteside has provided the only meager claim to interior defense the Blazers can claim. His projected 251 blocked shots in a full, 82-game season would leave him 8th on Portland’s all-time blocks list after just two years; he’d be the franchise leader in three.
Short tenure, the need for extrapolation, plus the “island in a storm...and sometimes just the storm” nature of Whiteside’s performances keep him from ranking higher on the list at this point, but when he’s on, he’s as good as the best centers from days of yore.
Discuss your observations about Whiteside below, and check back multiple times every weekday as we continue to countdown to No. 1!