Northwest Notes: Whiteside, Grant, Gilgeous-Alexander, Jazz

Trail Blazers point guard Damian Lillard believes he can bring out the best of Hassan Whiteside, the enigmatic center acquired from the Heat as part of the multi-team Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade. Lillard has a good friendship with Whiteside and that should help prevent Whiteside from getting over-emotional, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic.

“I said, ‘So this is what this is going to come down to: If in the middle of the game, you are not getting the ball and you mad, and you felt like somebody should have done something, you come and say something to me,” Lillard said. “And if (Trail Blazers) Coach (Terry Stotts) is getting on you, or Coach takes you out and you get mad at Coach, me and you have to be able to communicate. Even if we argue, that’s fine. But we have to be able to get through to each other.”

We have more from the Northwest Division:

  • Nuggets coach Michael Malone is thrilled with the acquisition of forward Jerami Grant from the Thunder, as he told Alex Labidou of the team’s website. He believes Grant will mesh well with franchise player Nikola Jokic and significantly improve the team’s defense. “Watching film, he’s guarded Damian Lillard, James Harden, Anthony Davis, the guy can guard anybody,” Malone said. “I think that versatility is exciting.”
  • Shai Gilgeous-Alexander gives the Thunder a long-term answer at point guard who may have a better future than Paul George, Berry Tramel of The Oklahoman writes. Gilgeous-Alexander is nine years younger than George, Tramel notes, and he displayed better defensive and shooting skills than Russell Westbrook did in his rookie year.
  • Jazz center Rudy Gobert shrugs off the Clippers’ acquisitions of Kawhi Leonard and George, confident that the Jazz have done enough this offseason to become serious contenders. “We don’t want to pay too much attention into what the other teams are doing,” Gobert told Tony Jones of The Athletic. “We want to keep working hard, and we want to stay hungry. We know what we have to do. Whenever we step out onto the court, the goal is to win. We know that we have a chance to do some good things this year. But we want to take things one step at a time.”
  • The Timberwolves have brought back Bryan Gates as an assistant coach under Ryan Saunders, according to an Associated Press report. Gates has been on the Kings’ staff the last three seasons but spent the 2015/16 season with Minnesota.
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16 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Whiteside, Grant, Gilgeous-Alexander, Jazz

    • yoyo137

      I actually thought that too. The way Dame talked about his conversation with him, and the way he said Whiteside’s response was simply “ok” makes me seriously hope that he didn’t rub him the wrong way. Like he’s 30 lol he’s older than Dame. Judging by his excitement about being traded to the Blazers, I feel like maybe that conversation wasn’t necessary.

    • Jason Lancaster

      I think Denver is assuming they will trade Milsap or Plumlee. They’re not going to have many free agents they like next summer, so it makes sense to trade instead. Beal has got to be a target, but I’m sure there will be a surprise trade demand come February. With this acquisition, Denver can trade a large expiring contract away without losing any frontcourt depth.

  1. jeremyn

    The fact that Whiteside needs to be treated like a small child being put in time out is exactly why he’s no longer a member of the Miami Heat… the Heat can cover up for things like this more than anyone.. it will be a year long issue in Portland.

  2. formerlyz

    When Whiteside comes to play, he is a game changer, but the littlest thing literally makes him stop playing. He also doesnt pay attention to detail, help the helper defensively, pass the ball, do anything efficiently out of the post, hes a turnover machine down there, set screens, enjoy his teammates success. He purposely goes away from the FT form he is much better at shooting with b/c he thinks he doesnt need it, and then goes back to it for a while, before stopping. He also falls asleep way too often, and his body language is ridiculous sometimes….I can go on…they needed Haslem and Juwan Howard to literally convince him to come out of the locker room at times

  3. formerlyz

    Utah is really good, obviously, and as I said earlier, I agree with Coach Malone, which isnt much of a revelation when you add a really good versatile defender

  4. Whiteside will be a beast in Portland this coming year, he should have gone there 3 years ago, wasted his time been the best player in a team like Miami… I am really excited to see what he can do in that team, in my lifetime watching the NBA from the early 80’s haven’t seen too many guys who can post a 17/14 & 2 blocks in just over 30 minutes like he did in his first year of the new contract, just hope he can finally find the happy situation he needs to thrive & become the elite center he truly is, I think Dame is gonna work very well with him, exciting times in Portland!

    • formerlyz

      I’ve been saying for 3 years he should come off the bench, the way he did the year before he got paid. He is very good in that role, if he decides to play. Zach Collins should start, and then he should come in and get between 25-32 minutes, sometimes less. That’s his role

  5. x%sure

    He said he should have been traded years ago… I think everyone can agree on this!

    The whole thing is Riley’s fault, sitting on him when the solution was pretty easy… it basically just took Myers Leonard & Harkless and the target of Jimmy Butler for Riley to release his claws.

    A person will spiral in a bad situation. A simple solution is a better situation and sinister Riley denied that, just kept pressing. He is now probably hoping Whiteside fails. He might just do that! But POR has Nurkic returning eventually, and Collins, so there won’t be the pressing. And Lillard is taking this up.

  6. x%sure

    Lillard got his max extension and he is where he can earn that nuts money. HW will eventually just swallow emotions if they have to play against Lillard. Yoyo137 said HW was so excited for the change but up & down emotions may be a problem for him. I won’t say bipolar except I just did.

    And Nurkic so moderate. He is getting a challenger! Rosters are so hard to pin down now but Portland has surely bailed themselves out this offseason… I think they benefitted from all the movement in general, as they like Miami seemed to be frozen over the last couple years.

  7. x%sure

    Speaking of PGs who can lead, SGA is a different animal than Russ, and is probably not going to be able to take off statistically like Russ. But SGA should be in the lineup. This threatens Russ’s assist numbers. Russ can leave or work on his 2G skills.

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