A special thanks goes out to The Court Jester for passing along the audio from Coach Westphal’s media session today. Here are the Coach’s comments on both Hassan Whiteside’s assignment to the NBDL and the promotion of Jason Thompson to the starting line-up.
Coach Westphal on Hassan Whiteside:
He’s disappointed, but we explained to him that it’s not a demotion, it’s because we think so highly of him. We want him to have a chance to play. I think it’s a really good opportunity for him. That’s what the D-league is for. We are very high on Hassan’s potential but he needs experience. That’s what we said when we drafted him and that’s where he is right now.
On Jason Thompson being named the starter:
Jason will be starting and we will bring Carl off the bench. It’s really good for both of them and it’s good for the team. Jason is a lot more comfortable as a starter and I think he is going to bring a lot for us in that position. I think Carl is somebody who can be one of the best six men in league and we certainly want to feature him. He is a huge part of what we do, but I think the way that worked out last game, that certainly was something that was very encouraging.
In a day of big roster and line-up moves, the Sacramento Bee’s Jason Jones has also tweeted that Kings rookie DeMarcus Cousins was tossed from practice today. I have not been able to get any updates on the report this afternoon but I will continue to work on it.
As far as the Hassan Whiteside move, although this is a tough pill to swallow for the rookie, he should embrace the opportunity. Count on him having an immediate impact in the D-league as both a defensive juggernaut and an offensive weapon. He is green but his offensive game is well beyond where I expected it to be at this point. If anything, blame this move on the strained left patella tendon that cost him almost the entire training camp.