Hassan Whiteside

Jazz Sign Hassan Whiteside

AUGUST 6: The Jazz have made it official with Whiteside, announcing his deal in a press release.

“Hassan is one of the more physically gifted players in the game today and has a vast amount of valuable professional basketball experience,” Jazz GM Justin Zanik said in a statement. “We’re excited to add someone with his skillset and feel he’s a great fit with our current roster.”


AUGUST 3: The Jazz have agreed to a deal with free agent center Hassan Whiteside, reports ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski (via Twitter).

Whiteside is coming off his least productive season in seven years, having averaged 8.1 PPG, 6.0 RPG, and 1.3 BPG in 36 games (15.2 MPG) for Sacramento, but he remains a solid shot-blocker and rebounder, especially as a backup center.

The 32-year-old seven-footer signed a one-year deal with the Kings last year but could never get fully on track with his new team. The Jazz will be hoping that in Quin Snyder‘s system, backing up All-NBA center Rudy Gobert, Whiteside will be able to turn things around.

The Jazz recently traded reserve center Derrick Favors to the Thunder in a cost-cutting move, and Whiteside gives them some level of schematic continuity coming off the bench.

The Jazz are believed to be limited to minimum-salary deals after committing their taxpayer mid-level exception to Rudy Gay, so Whiteside’s deal figures to be worth the veteran’s minimum.

Free Agent Stock Watch: Pacific Division

Throughout the season, Hoops Rumors takes a closer look at players who will be free agents or could become free agents this off-season. We examine if their stock is rising or falling due to performance and other factors. This week, we take a look at players from the Pacific Division:

Kawhi Leonard, Clippers, 29, SF (Up) – Signed to a three-year, $103MM deal in 2019

Until Giannis Antetokounmpo and other All-Stars decided to sign extensions, the summer of 2021 was considered a free agent bonanza. Leonard’s free agent foray two seasons ago, after leading the Raptors to the NBA championship, was one of the big stories of that summer. He chose to go to Los Angeles and the Clippers mortgaged their future by trading for Paul George to give him a superstar sidekick. It could all unravel for the franchise this year if the Clippers lose to the Mavericks in the opening round. Leonard was expected to opt out this summer so that he could maximize his salary with his current team. Now, other contenders might kick the tires to see if Leonard would be willing to jump ship again. If nothing else, the Clippers’ front office will be sweating it out until Leonard signs the bottom line.

Cameron Payne, Suns, 26, PG (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $2.2MM deal in 2019

It’s become an annual and unfortunate occurrence in the NBA postseason – Chris Paul suffers an injury at the worst time. Paul’s shoulder issue has limited his minutes against the Lakers the last two games and those minutes have gone to Payne. Not surprisingly, Phoenix has lost both contests but Payne has posted respectable numbers, averaging 17 PPG, 6.5 APG and 2.5 SPG in 30 MPG. The 2015 lottery pick struggled to find an NBA home until he signed with the Suns for their games in the Orlando bubble. Payne has found his niche as a second-unit point guard and if the Suns don’t re-sign him, some other team will take him for that same role.

Alex Caruso, Lakers, 27, SG (Up) – Signed to a two-year, $5MM deal in 2019

Caruso doesn’t make a big dent in the stat sheet but he’s a pesky defender and energetic spark plug off the bench. He averaged 6.5 PPG, 2.8 APG, 2.3 RPG and 1.1 SPG in 24.3 MPG during the Lakers’ run to the championship last season. He’s averaging 21 MPG through their first three playoff games this season against the Suns. Caruso seems like a nice fit on the Lakers, dutifully playing his role while knocking down the occasional 3-pointer and looking to advantage of opportunities when his defender cheats off him. The unrestricted free agent will likely get a nice bump in salary.

Hassan Whiteside, Kings, 31, C (Down) – Signed to a one-year, $2.3MM deal in 2020

Whiteside was valued so much by the Heat in 2016 he was signed to a four-year, $98.4MM deal. Few teams will covet Whiteside’s services when he reaches free agency again this summer. He had to settle for the veteran’s minimum last offseason and his one season with the Kings was rather forgettable. He was relegated to backup duty, averaging 15.2 MPG in the 36 games that coach Luke Walton used him. Whiteside didn’t play after April 21, supposedly due to lower back tightness. He can still be useful as a rebounder and shot blocker in a reserve role but he’ll have to settle for the veteran’s minimum once again.

Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.

Knicks Rumors: Robinson, Bell, Maker, Cousins, Whiteside

The Knicks‘ contract with Mitchell Robinson allows the team to retain the young center in 2021/22 for just $1.8MM, assuming his option is exercised. But in that scenario, he’d become an unrestricted free agent in ’22. New York could assert more control over Robinson’s free agency by turning down the team option and issuing a qualifying offer to make him restricted this summer.

Now that a broken foot is likely to sideline Robinson for the rest of the 2020/21 season, Marc Berman of The New York Post cites league sources who believe the Knicks’ decision has become simpler — the club doesn’t have enough information yet on Robinson to send him to free agency so soon, those sources say, arguing that picking up his option for ’21/22 is the right move.

Exercising Robinson’s team option would still allow the Knicks to negotiate a possible extension during his contract year. In that scenario, they could go as high as about $54MM over four years with a straight extension offer, or even higher with a renegotiation-and-extension. However, ESPN’s Bobby Marks tells Berman that he’d be surprised if New York is that aggressive in extension talks.

“Coming off a serious injury, I’m not paying him what Christian Wood got in Houston,” Marks said, referring to Wood’s three-year, $41MM contract with the Rockets. Marks suggests something in the three-year, $30MM range would be more realistic.

One source tells Berman that he believes the Mavericks will have interest in Robinson if and when he reaches free agency.

Here’s more on the Knicks:

  • With Robinson out, the Knicks will probably add a center for “insurance” purposes, per head coach Tom Thibodeau, Berman writes in the same story. Berman confirms a previous report that John Henson and Norvel Pelle are among the options being considered by the club and says New York has also had internal talks about Jordan Bell, Thon Maker, DeMarcus Cousins, and Hassan Whiteside.
  • Cousins appears likely to join the Clippers for at least 10 days, while Whiteside – a buyout candidate – remains a King for now. Berman notes that the Knicks’ brass likes the team’s chemistry and would want a player who fits “seamlessly” into the locker room, so Cousins and Whiteside may be lower on the wish list for that reason anyway.
  • While the Knicks seem likely to add a center, Nerlens Noel believes he and Taj Gibson are capable of handling the five in Robinson’s absence, writes Steve Popper of Newsday. “I feel like we have it covered, but that’s not my department,” Noel said. “That’s (the front office’s choice). … If Coach, management wants to add another piece, that’s all up to them. I definitely feel we’re comfortable with what we have. “We have depth in Kevin (Knox) and Obi (Toppin) staying available at the four, five spots and that helps as well, so I like the versatility we have.”

Kings Rumors: Barnes, Bjelica, Hield, Whiteside, Haliburton

Harrison Barnes‘ professionalism, his declining contract structure, and his strong play this season are all factors that make him an appealing trade candidate, but they’re also reasons why the Kings will be reluctant to part with him, writes Sam Amick of The Athletic.

A source with knowledge of Sacramento’s plans tells Amick that the club won’t be motivated to move Barnes without a “significant” offer. The Celtics have been frequently linked to the veteran forward, but Amick isn’t sure that a package made up of late first-round picks and young bench players would be enough to get it done.

The Kings also haven’t yet conceded that they will be sellers, Amick continues. If they do go that route, De’Aaron Fox and Tyrese Haliburton would likely be the only truly unavailable players on the roster, but the Kings are still just 3.5 games back of a play-in spot, reducing the likelihood of a fire sale.

Here’s more out of Sacramento:

  • Amick believes Nemanja Bjelica is perhaps the likeliest King to be traded, and hears from sources that the Pacers are among the teams to show interest in the stretch four. Amick also mentions Golden State, Boston, and Milwaukee, who have all been previously cited as potential suitors for Bjelica.
  • According to Amick, the size of Buddy Hield‘s contract probably makes him even more likely to stay put than Barnes, for now at least. Amick also wonders any teams will make a “spirited push” for center Richaun Holmes, especially if the Kings are unsure about whether they’ll be able to re-sign him this summer.
  • The Lakers continue to monitor Kings center Hassan Whiteside, reports Chris Haynes of Yahoo Sports. Whiteside has been previously identified as a possible Lakers target via trade or buyout.
  • Kings coach Luke Walton said over the weekend that rookie guard Tyrese Haliburton will remain on a minutes limit for the next few games, as James Ham of NBC Sports California tweets. Coming off a calf injury, Haliburton logged 18 minutes on Thursday and 24 on Saturday — he had been averaging over 30 minutes per game prior to the injury.

Luke Walton’s Job Appears Safe; Finances Play Role

Kings coach Luke Walton has been on the short list of NBA coaches with tenuous job status for awhile but he’s likely to retain his position at least through the end of this season, Sam Amick and Jason Jones of The Athletic report.

There are a variety of reasons why Walton is expected to hold onto his job, barring a complete second-half collapse. Finances come into play, as Walton is owed a combined $11.5MM in the next two seasons of his four-year guaranteed deal. The franchise has lost approximately $100MM due to the pandemic and there was even an ownership cash call in May, per Amick and Jones.

The Kings have a history of paying multiple coaches at the same time due to early firings, and minority owners are reluctant to go in that direction again.

Minority owners were asked to come up with funds to ensure the organization was still on track financially in accordance with five-year projection plans. Several of them were unable to do so, and owner Vivek Ranadive had to bridge the financial gap.

Walton has also dutifully carried out the plan set forth during the offseason by new GM Monte McNair.

McNair viewed this season as a “gap year,” with his long-term vision requiring two-to-four years to set in. Franchise player De’Aaron Fox has continued to support Walton publicly and privately and the front office is also impressed how rookie Tyrese Haliburton has blended with Fox. The progress shown by Marvin Bagley II in a starting role has also worked in Walton’s favor.

Here’s more tidbits from The Athletic’s story:

  • Nemanja Bjelica chose not to play for over a month because he was furious that Bagley had been handed his minutes. Glenn Robinson III was also upset with losing his rotation role before he was released.
  • Bjelica and Cory Joseph are the two players most likely to be dealt before the trade deadline. Hassan Whiteside has also been monitored by teams seeking a backup center.
  • Despite the improvements he’s shown, Bagley has drawn little interest on the trade market.

Western Notes: Beasley, Hollins, Nuggets, Whiteside, Parker

Replacing Timberwolves guard Malik Beasley during his suspension will have to be a team effort, Kent Youngblood of The Star Tribune writes.

Beasley was recently issued a 12-game suspension for conduct stemming from his charges last offseason. He’s averaged 20.5 points, 4.6 rebounds and 2.5 assists in 32 games this season, meaning several players will likely have to step up in his absence.

“I see it as a great opportunity,” guard Jaylen Nowell said. “I’m not going to go out and force anything. I’m not going to go out there looking to put up more shots, just step outside myself. I’m going to keep playing the way I’m playing and make sure I’m not going to overthink it.

“But we’ve got other guys that are trying to step up, too. They’ve got opportunities, too, including myself. So it’s making sure that not just one person picks up the slack, but we all have to do it collectively, as a group.”

Here are some other notes from the Western Conference:

  • Lakers assistant coach Lionel Hollins isn’t expected to return to the bench until after the All-Star break, according to Kyle Goon of the Southern California News Group (Twitter link). Hollins, a former NBA head coach, has missed the past four games due to personal reasons.
  • Mike Singer of the Denver Post explores five players the Nuggets should consider pursuing before the March 25 trade deadline. Singer mentions Magic swingman Terrence Ross, Spurs star DeMar DeRozan and others as potential options for the Nuggets, who currently hold an 18-15 record.
  • Kings center Hassan Whiteside and forward Jabari Parker are still out due to the league’s health and safety protocols, according to James Ham of NBC Sports California (Twitter link). Chimezie Metu also remains out with a broken wrist. Sacramento (13-20) is set to play Charlotte (15-17) on Sunday, having lost nine of its last 10 games.

Kings Sign Norvel Pelle To 10-Day Deal; Hassan Whiteside In Protocols

FEBRUARY 25: The Kings have officially signed Pelle to a 10-day contract, the team announced today in a press release. The deal, worth $99K, will cover the club’s remaining five games in the first half.


FEBRUARY 24: Center Norvel Pelle, who played three games for the Nets earlier this month, will join the Kings on a 10-day contract, tweets James Ham of NBC Sports California. Sacramento needs help in the middle because Hassan Whiteside will miss time due to health and safety protocols, Ham adds.

Pelle signed with Brooklyn in late January to help bolster a frontcourt that had been depleted in the trade for James Harden. He averaged 2.0 points and 2.3 rebounds in 9.3 minutes per night, and was released last week to make room for Andre Roberson.

Pelle, 28, is currently with the Canton Charge at the G League bubble in Orlando.

Whiteside’s status was listed on the Kings’ official injury report released today for Thursday’s game, according to Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. The team didn’t provide any further details, and it’s not clear if he tested positive for COVID-19 or is just affected by contact tracing.

Pacific Notes: GRIII, Lakers, Whiteside, George, Warriors

Glenn Robinson III, who is currently away from the Kings for personal reasons, may not return to the team, writes Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee. Robinson’s salary for 2020/21 is non-guaranteed, and teams must waive players on non-guaranteed contracts today in order to avoid taking on their full-season cap hits.

According to Anderson, Robinson is believed to be anticipating his release, but the Kings hadn’t communicated their intentions as of Tuesday night.

As Anderson explains, the situation is somewhat complicated by the fact that Robinson is dealing with a knee injury. A team that waives an injured player who is on a non-guaranteed deal must continue paying him until he’s healthy enough to return or until his contract expires, whichever comes first. Robinson’s knee issue doesn’t appear serious, but it will be a factor for the Kings to consider as they mull their options.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • Jovan Buha of The Athletic explores how waiving Quinn Cook gives the Lakers even more options on the buyout market, while Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of The Los Angeles Times identify Kings center Hassan Whiteside as one frontcourt player the team could pursue either via trade or buyout.
  • Clippers forward Paul George was pleased to earn All-Star honors, but is among the players who don’t believe the game should be played at all this season, as Ohm Youngmisuk of ESPN details. George told reporters that he was fined earlier in the season for having a teammate over to his house, which is one reason why he questions the decision to bring 24 players from all over the league to Atlanta for the All-Star Game.
  • The return of Stephen Curry (37 points) made the biggest impact in the Warriors‘ win over New York on Tuesday, but head coach Steve Kerr was also pleased to have centers James Wiseman and Kevon Looney available again, telling reporters that Wiseman looked “great” and that Looney “makes the game easier for everybody else” (link via Nick Friedell of ESPN). Wiseman missed 11 games with a wrist injury, while Looney was out for 10 games due to an ankle sprain.

Pacific Notes: Green, Wiseman, Whiteside, Clippers, More

The Warriors haven’t publicly announced which two players on their roster tested positive for the coronavirus, but head coach Steve Kerr “spelled it out pretty plainly” on Monday, according to Anthony Slater of The Athletic. Seventeen of the team’s 20 players participated in the first practice of the season. Besides Klay Thompson, the only players missing were Draymond Green and James Wiseman.

“I will not comment on that any further,” Kerr said, per Slater. “I’m not allowed to comment on that. You can make your own deductions … I’m just trying to figure out which one of you has put all the pieces together and has figured out what is happening here.”

Assuming Green and Wiseman are indeed the two players who tested positive for COVID-19, the Warriors are expected to be without them until at least next week, Slater notes. That will give some of Golden State’s other frontcourt players a chance to play more significant roles during the preseason as they potentially audition for regular season minutes.

Here’s more from around the Pacific:

  • New Kings center Hassan Whiteside is dealing with a mild calf strain and likely won’t be available for the team’s preseason opener, head coach Luke Walton said on Monday (Twitter link via Jason Jones of The Athletic).
  • Analytical data provided by new Kings general manager Monte McNair is expected to influence Walton’s new uptempo offensive system, as Jason Anderson of The Sacramento Bee writes. “It’s been great working with Monte,” Walton said. “We’ve talked and he’s going to bring ideas analytically to what he sees, and then at the end of the day I can take what ideas I want and leave the ones I don’t.”
  • Clippers head coach Tyronn Lue said that assistant coach Larry Drew is focusing on the team’s offense, while Dan Craig is leading the defense with the help of Roy Rogers. Chauncey Billups is focusing on both sides of the ball, while Kenny Atkinson is leading player development, Lue added, per Andrew Greif of The Los Angeles Times (Twitter link).
  • Abdel Nader isn’t concerned about being considered “the other guy” sent to Phoenix in the Chris Paul trade and is looking forward to playing for the Suns, writes Duane Rankin of The Arizona Republic. “I haven’t really spent time in Phoenix but I knew (the Suns) had a nice, young unit with a lot of talent,” Nader said. “Ability to grow. Also the city sounds like a nice place to me. I wasn’t complaining too much.”

Kings Notes: Bogdanovic, Hield, GRIII, Kaminsky, Whiteside

After reporting earlier today that the Kings passed on a Hawks sign-and-trade offer for Bogdan Bogdanovic that would have allowed Sacramento to acquire either a lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick or two future second-rounders in exchange for the restricted free agent, Sam Amick of The Athletic has updated his story with some new intel.

As Amick explains, that Hawks offer came with caveats. Atlanta wanted Sacramento to accept Tony Snell‘s expiring $12MM+ salary and asked for an answer within an hour. Additionally, the Kings didn’t know at that point what sort of contract the Hawks were offering Bogdanovic, so they were reluctant to agree to a sign-and-trade if Atlanta’s offer was one they were comfortable matching.

The Kings asked for some of the Hawks’ young talent in a deal, but didn’t have any luck, and Atlanta ultimately took its chances by signing Bogdanovic to an offer sheet. Sacramento didn’t match it.

While The Athletic’s new information lets the Kings off the hook to some extent, Amick says there’s “strong reason” to believe that Atlanta would have done a sign-and-trade for Bogdanovic that included a draft pick even if the Kings hadn’t been willing to take on Snell’s contract. However, sources tell Amick that scenario wasn’t discussed.

Here’s more out of Sacramento:

  • In talks with teams about a possible Buddy Hield trade this offseason, the Kings were asking for draft compensation, according to Ian Begley of SNY.tv. There’s nothing imminent on the Hield front though, Begley adds. At this point, it would be a surprise if Sacramento doesn’t open the season with Hield on its roster.
  • Glenn Robinson III and Frank Kaminsky each received modest guarantees on their new one-year contracts with the Kings. Keith Smith of Yahoo Sports tweets that Robinson got a $100K partial guarantee, while James Ham of NBC Sports California tweets that Kaminsky’s partial guarantee is worth $50K.
  • Hassan Whiteside‘s first stint with the Kings a decade ago saw him play just 19 games in two seasons for the team before he spent two years out of the NBA. He’s counting on having more success this time around, as Ham writes for NBC Sports California. “My first (time) around, I had a couple of injuries that kept me from being the player that I wanted to be,” Whiteside said. “But I think this is a great opportunity to come back and revamp that.”
  • The Kings confirmed today that they won’t have any fans in attendance at Golden 1 Center to start the 2020/21 season (Twitter link via Ham). Given the COVID-19 restrictions in place in California, that was a given.