Lakers Trade Rumors: Hassan Whiteside 'A Possible Target' After Cook Release

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistFebruary 23, 2021

Sacramento Kings center Hassan Whiteside (20) reacts to a call during the second half of an NBA basketball game against the Denver Nuggets in Sacramento, Calif., Tuesday, Dec. 29, 2020. (AP Photo/Hector Amezcua)
Hector Amezcua/Associated Press

The Los Angeles Lakers are not expected to sign DeMarcus Cousins if he clears waivers from the Houston Rockets but could have interest in adding Hassan Whiteside

Dan Woike and Broderick Turner of the Los Angeles Times reported the Lakers could pursue Whiteside if he becomes available.

Whiteside is averaging 8.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocks per game this season. He's seen sporadic playing time in the rotation, getting most of his minutes when Richaun Holmes is out of the lineup. 

The Lakers have a hole in their big man rotation with Anthony Davis expected to be out several weeks with an Achilles injury. Kyle Kuzma has started in Davis' place and will likely continue doing so, but his absence from the reserve unit has left the Lakers lacking in scoring punch off the bench.

Whiteside could provide some athleticism on the defensive interior, but his overall fit with the Lakers doesn't seem particularly strong. The Lakers added Marc Gasol this offseason to provide heady play and floor spacing at the center position. While he's clearly well past his prime from an athletic standpoint, Gasol is rarely out of position and is shooting a solid 36.1 percent from three-point range.

Whiteside, on the other hand, does not provide any floor spacing; the overwhelming majority of his shot attempts come within five feet of the basket, and his effectiveness plummets when he moves away from the rim.

However, his skill set is more akin to the one offered by JaVale McGee and Dwight Howard last season. If the Lakers have decided they prefer more rebounding and athleticism in the middle, Whiteside cold eventually supplant Gasol in the rotation if he comes to L.A.