After two season and two Las Vegas Summer League games, it appears the Sacramento Kings are now wondering if and not when Hassan Whiteside will ever cash in on his tremendous potential.
The former Marshall standout slid to the second round two seasons ago and at the time, he appeared to be a steal. So much that the Kings turned down plenty of offers to sell their pick and instead, drafted the athletic 7-footer with the 33rd overall pick.
But after two seasons and a total of 19 games played, the team’s patience appears to be waning.
Following Saturday’s game in Las Vegas, Kings summer league co-head coach Alex English made it known that Whiteside was limited to just 12 minutes during the contest because he failed to hustle back on defense.
During an interview with local media today, President of Basketball Operations Geoff Petrie made it clear what the Kings are asking of Whiteside.
“I think he has to focus on the things that can help our team when he is part of a unit, which is rebounding, blocking shots, running the floor, being a factor around the basket and not be too worried about other aspects, (like) how many points you score and that kind of thing.” -Geoff Petrie
According to both storytellercontracts.com and shamsports.com, the Kings had until Sunday, July 15 to either waive Whiteside or have his $854,389 option for the 2012-13 season and an additional guarantee of $150,000 for the 2013-14 season kick in. As of midnight, we had not been informed of the Kings decision either way.
While the Kings might be willing to give Whiteside a slightly longer look, a million dollar commitment doesn’t insure that Whiteside will make it on the final roster this season. The Kings are looking at veteran options who can help the team win more games this season. Options like Darnell Jackson.
Jackson isn’t the shot blocker that Whiteside is, but he is a solid influence with major ties to rookie Thomas Robinson. He is also a player that gives you an honest effort every time out, play’s strong, physical defense and understands a role, concepts that the Kings are still trying to instill in Whiteside.
From my sources, Whiteside isn’t the only player who will have to fight for a roster spot between now and opening night. The Kings need to see their young players improve now, while taking ownership of their careers or they will find veterans to fill those roles.