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What Side?: Miami’s New Development Project

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Miami’s decision to call up Hassan Whiteside from the D-League has drawn intrigue from many, but who exactly is he?

To start off, Whiteside is relatively young at 25 years old, and measures 7’0″ and 235 lbs. He attended Marshall University for a relatively quiet year, before declaring for the 2010 NBA Draft, where the Kings selected him with the 3rd pick in the second round.

In his rookie season, Hassan only played in one game, failing to put up any meaningful stats. He was sent down to the D-League twice, playing for the Reno Longhorns. It’s safe to say that he wasn’t necessarily playing to high standards. After being called up again late that year, he was a part of the Kings for the rest of the season. The following season, he played 18 games, while posting 1.6 PPG on 44% FG (41% FT), 2.2 RPG, 0.2 SPG, 0.8 BPG. However, it wasn’t enough, as he was sent (yet again) to the Longhorns. After a few quiet months, he was called up again before he was waived. He proceeded to play for Lebanon and China , (where he was the Defensive Player Of The Year), for the rest of the season. In the following off season (2014-2015), he signed with the Memphis Grizzlies, and was shortly waived afterwards, and opted to play with the Iowa Energy.

Whiteside was, obviously, signed by Miami (two days ago) for two years, on a partially guaranteed contract. His D-League career has been pretty decent, playing in 63 Games while posting 6.7 PPG / 5.3 RPG / 0.2 APG. He will wear number 21 on his jersey.

What prompted Miami to sign him? It might be a mixture of things: Birdman’s injured-plagued start to the season, a realization by Spoelstra that he can’t afford to play small-ball anymore, and Whiteside’s 24 point / 16 rebound / 4 block explosion on the Sioux Falls Skyforce last week. However, Sioux Fall’s own Khem Birch posted a great game himself, notching up 19 points and 11 rebounds.

It remains to be seen what his role will be, but it is Miami’s first move of the season, so reasonable it has Heat fans cautiously optimistic. Yet, early on, it seems that he will be a long-term project ala Dexter Pittman, Eddy Curry, and Greg Oden.