Dallas Mavericks: Why Hassan Whiteside Should Not be Pursued
Free agency is on the way and the Dallas Mavericks need to find an elite center. So why should we avoid Hassan Whiteside?
The Dallas Mavericks appear to be in a very unique position for them headed into the offseason. For the first time in recent memory, Dallas may be able to attack the free agent market, (namely the center position), without a whole lot of backlash to the roster going into the following season.
If the Mavs elect to keep Chandler Parsons, Dirk Nowitzki (obviously), and Deron Williams, it gives us a solid first 4 and the opportunity to chase a potential center with only the worry of losing Zaza Pachulia in the process.
Although losing Pachulia is not the ideal situation with as well as he played last year, he does not give us the elite level center that could propel the team forward in the 2016-17 season. This gives Dallas the freedom to pursue whatever other options they want and land on the most suitable choice.
On top of all these positives to our center dilemma, the best part may be the free agent centers available. Names on this list include: Andre Drummond, Al Horford, Pau Gasol, Hassan Whiteside, Dwight Howard, and Al Jefferson to name a few.
Smaller names that could make a big impact include: Joakim Noah, Bismack Biyombo, Festus Ezeli, and Timofey Mozgov. Many of these names should be viewed as upgrades to the roster while all of them present a new or different approach from the previous year.
So why should the Mavericks set their sights away from Hassan Whiteside?
In my opinion, Whiteside is the best defensive center in the league. As an around the rim threat on both ends of the court, Whiteside has proven that he can be a threat on the offensive end and rebounding on both sides of the court as well.
All the plus side to Whiteside makes you wonder why in the world the Mavericks would not pursue him right? I’m not necessarily telling the Mavs to avoid him altogether but, if there is no mutual interest between the two parties, do not keep chasing.
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There are too many good players on the market to run after a player like Whiteside who already has a few problematic issues that may not fit well with the Mavericks. For those reasons, I think the Mavericks are better off looking in another direction.
One of the big issues I see with Hassan Whiteside is that he is young and likes to please the crowd. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing by any means but players like Whiteside like the big markets like L.A., Miami, Boston, and New York. The Mavericks are not as small a market as many teams, but they do not bring the excitement of the big city that others do.
For this reason, the Mavericks need to be very smart in their approach to Hassan. The general guess is that Whiteside will end up in one of the bigger markets on a max deal. Dallas would be better off chasing a smaller name that can fit into the system well.
The other reason I would prefer to avoid Whiteside is because of his attitude. He has been known to be a little bit more of an immature player both on and off the court. This isn’t always a complete detriment to the team as has been the case with many previous players, but we have also seen that it does not work as well with Coach Carlisle.
Rick Carlisle is not incapable of working with players of all sorts, but he is also one of the few coaches remaining in the league that demands respect from each of his players. When he gets that respect, there are no issues.
I don’t want to say outright that Dallas should cut their losses today and avoid Whiteside altogether, but if there are not serious signs that he is interested in coming to the Mavericks by the time free agency is approaching, Mark Cuban better be on a plane headed anywhere but Miami.
Next: Dallas Mavericks: Raymond Felton's Future
As free agency continues to approach, the Mavericks need to determine who and who not to set their sights on for next season. Those sights need to be calibrated and faced in the right direction if the Mavericks want to avoid another year of free agency woes.