The Los Angeles Lakers currently are dealing with a variety of key personnel limitations. Anthony Davis will be sidelined beyond the NBA All-Star break and Dennis Schroder remains in COVID protocol. They could look to outside options to help improve the roster around LeBron James.
According to LA Times’ Brad Turner, Hassan Whiteside is considered a possible target for the Lakers ahead of the NBA trade deadline.
“Sacramento center Hassan Whiteside, who is averaging 8.3 points, 5.7 rebounds and 1.3 blocked shots in 14-1/2 minutes per game, is a possible target the team could pursue.”
There is a clear need for the Lakers to add more of a physical rim roller and rim protector than what they have now. Currently, Marc Gasol is a stretch-five who no longer is a high-level rim protector while Montrezl Harrell doesn’t provide much defensively, in general. This will be something to monitor in NBA trade rumors.
The Lakers benefited significantly from having players with this skill-set last season like Dwight Howard and JaVale McGee. Neither player is still a member of the roster and there certainly is a void there that could benefit Los Angeles to fill.
When Anthony Davis is healthy, he is able to provide robust defensive versatility and mitigates the need for another rim roller and rim protector. However, having an additional option helps to keep the Lakers afloat when Davis is sidelined and further boosts the unit when he’s on the floor. Having a player of this kind would help LeBron James to lead the team to wins without Davis.
It has been a struggle for Hassan Whiteside to find a consistent role with the Sacramento Kings. They did not end up needing the veteran signings they made in the offseason. Richaun Holmes and Marvin Bagley III have shouldered the vast majority of the interior minutes.
Given how Hassan Whiteside is signed to just a one-year, $2.3 million contract, it wouldn’t require much of a risk for the Los Angeles Lakers to take a flier on him.