When the Trail Blazers made their off-season moves over the summer, one of those resulted in the arrival of Hassan Whiteside to Portland from the Miami Heat.
The deal was part of a four-team trade that saw Moe Harkless and Meyers Leonard leave Portland as part of the agreement.
Around the league, 'experts' worried about the move on Portland's side. We all heard the critiques.
- Whiteside is a culture problem
- Whiteside can't stay focused
- He's inconsistent
Well, it's only been two games, but the big man is proving his value already. After an impressive first game, Whiteside followed it up with a stellar performance vs. Sacramento: 22 points, 9 rebounds, 3 assists. Damian Lillard spoke to Brooke Olzendam after the win in Sacramento alongside Whiteside and had the following to say:
To start the season off, I think everybody got excited about his effort on both ends on the floor, because it was actually in front of us. For him to put back to back games together, that's really encouraging for our team because it's going to be a big deal.
And it is fair to say that Rip City Drive host and Meyers Leonard super fan (sarcasm font) Chad Doing is happy with the way this trade turned out:
We need more "experts" to tell us they are miffed at the trade to acquire Whiteside. Moe + Meyers for Whiteside = 💰💰💰 #ripcity— ChadinPortland 🎙 (@ChadinRipCity) October 26, 2019
The season is long, and Whiteside will need to continue to prove his value and as Damian Lillard said after game one, Whiteside being able to be a factor night in and night out is the kind of effort they are going to need out of him. Not only now, but even upon Nurk's return, because depth in your front court is never a bad thing when you're looking at making a deep playoff run.