Hassan Whiteside's path to NBA relevance definitely hasn't been straightforward. After the Sacramento Kings drafted him early in the second round of the 2010 draft (33rd overall), Whiteside spent two years unable to hold down a spot in the rotation. The Kings assigned him to their D-League affiliate in Reno multiple times, but the team was unimpressed by his progress and waived him after the 2011-2012 season came to a close.
At the time, Geoff Petrie was Sacramento's GM. He lost that job a year later, and Whiteside - now in a NBA starting lineup in Miami - couldn't help but point that out ahead of his return to Sacramento Friday.
"The guys that cut me, they're not there anymore. How smart was that?" Whiteside asked.
Whiteside didn't have an easy time getting back into the league after being cut by the Kings - he bounced between D-League squads, the Chinese league and two teams in Lebanon before finally getting another shot in the NBA in November.
Since January 1, Whiteside has looked like a completely different player than the one Sacramento cut loose back in 2012. He's averaging 13.8 points, 10.2 rebounds and 3.5 blocked shots in the month of January, and he made his first NBA start against the Golden State Warriors on Wednesday.
The Kings are very happy with their current starting center, DeMarcus Cousins, and in the grand scheme of things, the previous front office made plenty of mistakes worse than cutting Whiteside. Still, fans never enjoy seeing a player their team let go for free succeeding elsewhere...and Whiteside is starting to do just that.Back to the Sacramento Kings Newsfeed