NBA Rumors: 3 Prime Destinations For Hassan Whiteside

He’s a two-time NBA blocked shots leader, and is coming off a solid season with the Utah Jazz. But 33-year-old shot-blocking ninja Hassan Whiteside is still a free agent as of this writing.

There are a number of teams in search of rim protection and rebounding in a backup center, who could do a lot worse than Whiteside in that role. 

How efficient is he at protecting the rim?

Despite less than starter's minutes, he's 4th in the NBA in blocks over the last five seasons. 

Without further ado, three teams that would be prime destinations for Whiteside:

Toronto Raptors

The Raptors have been searching for a shot-blocking center for eons. And, ever since Marc Gasol left, someone with the size to try to neutralize the likes of Joel Embiid,  Bam Adebayo and other beasts of the East in key matchups. Despite the shade he gets thrown at him from Raptors fans, he could be a defensive force in limited minutes as a backup. 

Phoenix Suns

JaVale McGee was an extremely valuable piece as a backup center last season for the Suns, but he left in free agency, signing a 3-year, $17M deal with conference rival Dallas Mavericks. Whiteside could fill McGee's role off the bench behind Deandre Ayton, providing some rebounding, shot-blocking and a few alley-oop finishes around the rim.  

Denver Nuggets

The Nuggets got some good minutes out of DeMarcus Cousins backing up Nikola Jokic last season, but they don't seem enamoured enough to re-sign him. In fact, they went out and signed DeAndre Jordan as a backup center. 

Now, most NBA observers are aware that Jordan is long past his prime, and depending on him all season to be the sole backup center could be a mistake. Hassan Whiteside would be a huge boost to Denver's defense, which finished 2nd-last in the entire NBA in blocked shots last season. 

Photos: Jeffrey Swinger-USA TODAY Sports, Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports