Northwest Notes: Whiteside, Thunder, Goodwin

Shortly after being traded from the Heat to the Trail Blazers last week, center Hassan Whiteside immediately received numerous texts messages from a key member of Portland’s organization: Damian Lillard.

Lillard welcomed Whiteside to the team, having an open dialogue about what the franchise is capable of doing with a healthy roster entering the 2019/20 season.

“I think the things that stuck out the most was he was just communicating and stressing that it had to happen on both ends,” Whiteside said, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. “Regardless of what we are feeling at the time, we all have the same goal. And he said he would never try to stand me up or show out on me, or another person, and he expects the same. And he was like, ‘If Coach talks, just respect it.’”

Whiteside privately and publicly sent signals that he wanted more playing time during his time in Miami. His relationship with head coach Erik Spoelstra was rocky, with the 30-year-old rarely influenced by a leader such as Lillard throughout his career.

“I’ve never had anybody approach me like that,” Whiteside said. “Outside of D. Wade, maybe, but D. Wade wasn’t there a couple years. But what Dame showed me was how serious he is and what kind of leader he is. That made me even more excited about coming here because he was showing me his teammate side, his leadership side.”

There’s more from the Northwest Division tonight:

  • Multiple NBA executives believe the Thunder won the Russell Westbrook trade with Houston last week, according to ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “Huge win for Oklahoma City,” said one unnamed executive. By trading Westbrook to the Rockets for Chris Paul, 2024 and 2026 first-round picks and the right to swap picks in 2021 and 2025, the Thunder were able to add to their already lengthy collection of future picks and assets.
  • Maddie Lee of The Oklahoman details why the Thunder continue to acquire future draft picks in trades this month. In addition to Westbrook, Oklahoma City also traded away Paul George for five first-round picks (2021 via Miami, 2022, 2023 via Miami, 2024 and 2026), plus two pick swaps (2023, 2025). The team also moved forward Jerami Grant to Denver for a future first-round pick (2020).
  • The Nuggets have withdrawn their qualifying offer for two-way player Brandon Goodwin, according to RealGM. Goodwin is now an unrestricted free agent.
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7 thoughts on “Northwest Notes: Whiteside, Thunder, Goodwin

  1. whiplash

    How would you say the Thunder won the trade? it’s essentially just 2 picks and 1 pick swap since I doubt the Thunder would be better than the Rockets in 2021. Plus they’re gonna have to deal with Chris Paul on the roster. If they trade him they’ll more than likely have to include a first rounder or 2 so subtract those from the total of 1st round picks. Rockets not only get a better athlete but maybe more motivation for James Harden. Just my opinion.

  2. x%sure

    Presti will probably get out of the whole thing on balance, either Winslow or a big buyout cut on Paul (so he can get out of there). He was in a tough situation after George wanted out.

  3. Archie M.

    If Whiteside builds with Lillard the same chemistry he had with Wade, he will have a very good season with the Blazers. And if he & Nurkic can form a formidable low post tag team, the Blazers will be a tough out in the conference semis.

  4. victorg

    honestly Por got better this offseason and would not surprise me to see them win 58 plus games.

  5. victorg

    I don’t see how OKC won this deal UNLESS rockets become a 40 win team and you get 3-4 picks that fall in the 10-18 range but I mean meh on that … and or CP3 turns back the clock 4 years and or westbrook is never fully healthy again for the duration of the contract.

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