If the Dallas Mavericks don’t want to break the bank trying to sign Dwight Howard during free agency, they should at least pull up to the table and sign Hassan Whiteside.
And that’s exactly what they’ll try to do.
Whiteside will be the first player the Mavericks meet with when free agency opens at 11:01 p.m. CDT on June 30.
A 7-foot, 265-pound center, Whiteside has endured more than his share of ups and downs during his brief NBA career. Yet, he appear poised to take off and become a giant in the middle for a franchise ready to fork off the big bucks for his services.
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And the Mavericks are ready to open the checkbook for Whiteside.
Whiteside, 27, is a game-changer, a rebounder/defender/shot-blocker extraordinaire that controls the paint better than anyone in the NBA. This past season for the Miami Heat, Whiteside averaged 14.2 points and 11.8 rebounds, and also led the NBA with 3.7 blocks per game.
On Nov. 1 in a game against the Minnesota Timberwolves, Whiteside had 22 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks. It was his second career triple-double as he became the second player ever to have multiple triple-doubles that consisted of points, rebounds and blocks.
But Whiteside didn’t stop there, as he picked up his third career triple-double with 19 points, 17 rebounds and 11 blocks during a Jan. 15 game against Denver.
Whiteside also had 10 points, 10 rebounds and 10 blocks in 27 minutes off the bench during a Feb. 5 game against Charlotte.
Against the Mavericks, Whiteside had 10 points, nine rebounds and five blocks in only 17 minutes during a Feb. 3 game. In addition, Whiteside registered 25 points and 19 rebounds against the Mavericks back on Jan. 1.
Whiteside alters a lot of shots. He is one of the game’s best intimidaters.
If the Mavericks can’t get Howard, they should open the checkbook and sign Whiteside.