With 2 roster spots remaining on the Timberwolves 15-man roster, Wolves brass has spent the past few weeks scouring the remains of the free agent market in hopes of landing a serviceable big in order to add depth to their frontcourt. With the return of Anthony Tolliver looking very slim due to salary concerns, Minnesota has set their sights on a few high-upside, higher-risk players which include Hassan Whiteside, Andray Blatche, and Sean Williams, among others.
After Timberwolves regional scout Milton Barnes watched Whiteside play in a pickup game this past week, he apparently saw enough positives in order to convince the Wolves to take a closer look at the former Marshall standout. Minnesota’s interest in Whiteside is strong enough that he will reportedly be flown out to Minneapolis today in order to be put through a workout tomorrow.
Whiteside, 23, was selected by the Sacramento Kings 33rd overall in the 2010 draft, but was ultimately unable to beat out centers Demarcus Cousins and Jason Thompson for minutes during his two seasons with the team. He subsequently spent the majority of the previous two seasons in the NBA D-League, but was an intriguing prospect coming into the 2010 NBA Draft after the 7-footer led the NCAA in blocks per game (5.4) in his sole collegiate season. Despite standing at a legitimate 7 feet, Whiteside is very raw and has yet to properly fill in his frame, as he weighs only 235 pounds. However, he does possess one of the longest wingspans in NBA history at 7 feet 7 inches.
At this point in free agency, there are certainly few remaining frontcourt options, especially for a team up against the cap. The Wolves can only offer Whiteside and other free agents the veteran minimum, but I have to believe that Whiteside would not think twice about taking any NBA gig that he can get at this point in his career. He is certainly a high-upside prospect, but if injuries ravage Minnesota’s frontcourt, could the team really rely on a player as undeveloped as Whiteside to come in and help them compete for a playoff spot?
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