Hassan Whiteside: NBA Draft Profile and Scouting Report
Position: Power Forward / Center | Height: 7-0 | Weight: 235
Class: Freshman | Age: 20 | Hometown: Gastonia, NC
2009 Stats: 13.1 points | 8.9 rebounds | 5.4 blocks | Game Log
NBA Mock Draft Ranking: 14
Hassan Whiteside Video Highlights: YouTube
Hassan Whiteside Scouting Report
Strengths: As a freshman at Marshall, he averaged 13 points while pulling down 8.9 rebounds in just 26 minutes of play. Whiteside has the shot-blocking timing and understanding that many young bigs lack. His 5.4 blocks per game easily ranked him first in the country. His ability to shut down the driving game and alter shots is simply too tantalizing to ignore in the latter stages of the lottery. While his offensive game remains raw -- he doesn't really have a go-to move -- he actually displays excellent form on his shot while showing an alarmingly soft touch around the basket. He has such a long wingspan and nice extension towards the hoop that he hardly ever gets his shot altered or blocked. Regardless of his rawness, he has shown the ability to step outside and knock down 16 footers with ease.
Weaknesses: Many of the same questions surrounding Ed Davis also surround Whiteside, namely, a lack of strength and tendency to have defensive lapses. Whiteside is so frail that even playing against ancillary competition in Conference USA, he was often the target at the defensive end. At 7-0 with an uber-long wingspan, he certainly has the tools to become an elite shot-blocker, but his rail thin frame prevents him from doing so at this point. Often times in games, much smaller but stronger post players would park themselves in the paint, get their body into Whiteside and either score or draw enough contact for a foul. At the next level, this will be a huge issue -- think Hasheem Thabeet. Because he is so far away in terms of strength, it could take Whiteside several years before realizing his full potential. Even so, he is already a tremendous weak-side shot-blocker.
The other issue with Whiteside is a lack of basketball feel and pure cerebral nature. For a guy who will have turned 21 by draft night (even though he's a freshman), he has no clue about floor spacing and general basketball cohesiveness. This becomes prevalent mostly at the offensive end where he goes into a mindless tunnel-vision and completely forgets about the rest of the floor. Even out of the pick-and-roll he appears uncomfortable. Turnovers and poor shot selection are typically the result.
Forecast: Five years down the road when looking back at this draft, Whiteside could very well wind up being the best player -- he's just that talented -- or out of the league -- he's just that much of a risk. His aptitude to step away from the hoop and make shots along with the propensity to block shots should make sure he sticks around, but then again, there is a bundle of question marks that suggest otherwise.
The key for Whiteside moving forward is to exponentially increase his strength so he can fully maximize his defensive ability and begin to develop a true low-lost game so he's no longer a liability on the offensive end. Even if he's just a top notch defender, he will earn minutes because he can be so dominant. He needs to watch tape, get coached up and mature -- not just physically, but emotionally as well. I think taking Whiteside anywhere in the top 12 is a reach and would wait until the mid-teens, but then again, I'm not as high on upside as most evaluators.
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More Scouting Reports: DraftExpress | NBADraft.net