Hassan Whiteside Officially Becomes DeAndre Jordan 2.0
But Whiteside's game was just unrefined and his personality just off-putting enough that the big man slid. And slid. And slid. All the way out of the lottery ... and the teens ... and then the first round. Whiteside was finally picked up by the Kings with the 33rd pick in the draft. He joins No. 5 pick DeMarcus Cousins and recent trade acquisition Samuel Dalembert in Sacramento's suddenly reformed frontcourt.
FanHouse's Sam Amick reports that teams have said they were concerned that Whiteside had "a severe case of Attention Deficit Disorder." Kings president Geoff Petrie told Amick, however, that Whiteside's medical report mentioned no such problem. Whiteside's combine interviews with the media were considered to show immaturity, and reports citing anonymous sources throughout the draft process carried on that narrative as well.
The Kings actually worked out Whiteside in Sacramento twice, including last weekend in a big gathering which included top-10 picks Ekpe Udoh (No. 6, Golden State) and Greg Monroe (No. 7, Detroit). It was believed by many Whiteside would be a Kings target if the team traded down in the first round. It's hard to believe the Kings front office expected the center to be around at No. 33.
Two years ago, Texas A&M one-and-done center DeAndre Jordan faced a similar fate. Jordan was thought to be a potential top-10 pick until the run-up to the 2008 Draft. He ended up slipping into the second round, where the Clippers picked him up at No. 35.
Whiteside wasn't invited to the "green room" where top prospects wait for their name to be called, but he was in the Madison Square Garden crowd. He executed a remarkable handshake with NBA deputy commissioner Adam Silver. One would expect Whiteside will spend some time with the Kings' NBA D-League affiliate, the Reno Bighorns.