- Frank Hughes of SI.com touches on the Hassan Whiteside drafting and the potential pitfalls of sending him to the D-League. One of the most interesting parts of the piece was Hughes getting hall of fame center Hakeem Olajuwon’s reaction and opinion on Whiteside and the D-League:
“When I see a player like him, his reach is his strength,” Olajuwon said in a phone interview from Toronto. “He knows he can put the ball on the floor and shoot. I was more or less thinking about his height advantage, what he can be doing in the post with his jump hook. He should be able to play small forward, power forward or center comfortably. I try not to limit him to a position. He has the skills and the height where he can play three positions as he matures in the league.”
Olajuwon said several NBA teams — he refused to identify which ones — have called him to ask him his opinion of Whiteside. The former Rocket said that while Whiteside is young, he told the teams that their concerns about his focus are unfounded.
“When you see him, he is a gentleman, very shy,” Olajuwon said. “That is his demeanor. So if you see him, you say he is not that enthusiastic about the game. But when you see him play, he goes after it. That works against him if you don’t understand him as a person. His maturity? He is a young boy. Somebody has to look at what he is now and you have to look at his potential with the right training.”
Olajuwon said he thinks it would be a mistake for a team to pick Whiteside and then send him to the D league in the same fashion that Memphis did with Thabeet last season.
“I was shocked Memphis made that decision,” Olajuwon said. “That was the wrong move. If you are a big guy, you need to play. Give the boy a chance so that he can develop confidence. By sending him to the D league you are demoralizing him. Give him the opportunity. Being a shot blocker is enough to keep him on the floor. Give him time. That was wrong. It is not the right move. Give him time to develop.”
Whiteside spent a week with Hakeem earlier this year and has plans to spend another at some point this summer.
- Ex-Sacramento Kings beat writer Sam Amick sat down with DeMarcus Cousins’ mother and high school coach – a piece well worth your time. Amick continues to live up to his reputation of being a premier NBA writer. Of interest in the article was the mention of Cousins living situation this season in Sacramento. Cousins family will follow the same route Tyreke Evans family did:
And just as his mother moved briefly to Lexington, Ky. to help the most famous of her six children adjust to the spotlight at the start of his college career, the Cousins family once again plans to take the necessary steps to surround him with necessary support this time around.
Monique is tending to her ailing mother in Mobile, so DeMarcus’ 24-year-old sister, Ryan Knight, will live with him in Sacramento while his mother will visit frequently. It’s a similar setup to that of his new teammate, guard Tyreke Evans, who is surrounded by a group dubbed Team Tyreke that is almost entirely family.
- Tom Ziller of Sactown Royalty looks into what potential candidates should be extended an invite to the Kings Summer League team. My favorite selection of Zillers?
Sherron Collins, Kansas: No idea how Collins isn’t locked up for VSL by someone already. Word is the Bobcats are trying to land him. The Kings should try, too.
- As I touched on a bit last night in the Whiteside draft thread, rumors have come out that Whiteside’s stock slipped so dramatically due to potential concerns with ADD. Fanhouse’s Sam Amick talked to Kings GM Geoff Petrie about the concerns, of which, Petrie has none:
But for the Kings, those concerns mean little because of where he was picked. Kings basketball president Geoff Petrie said Whiteside’s ADD wasn’t on his medical charts and was unconcerned when asked about it. Buck said the team “environment around him” will be key in his development.
- Pookey of Evil Cowtown Inc. touches on the draft as well as his concerns about Hassan Whiteside. He also makes mention of Jerome Randle as a potential undrafted free agent. Absolutely love the idea. Through rumors are leaking he will play for the Wizards summer league team.
- Ryan Wolstat of the Toronto Sun loves what the Kings did last night as evidenced by this:
Have to mention Sacramento briefly. DeMarcus Cousins and Hassan Whiteside? That’s almost unfair. That team has the potential to be very, very good in a few years. Get some shooters to complement Evans and Cousins and they are laughing.
- Marc Spears of Yahoo Sports feels the Kings are winners in this years draft:
The Kings landed the big man they coveted in Kentucky center DeMarcus Cousins, who believes he is the best player in the draft. Cousins, who measures 6-foot-10, 292 pounds, has the talent and size to become an All-Star. Questions persist about his coach-ability and conditioning, but he appears motivated to prove himself.
Kings assistant coaches Mario Elie and Truck Robinson won’t be afraid to hold Cousins accountable. Cousins also has legitimate competition for the starting center job in newcomer Samuel Dalembert.
More good news for the Kings: Cousins wanted to play for the Kings. At least for now, Sacramento’s newest addition sounds motivated and energized.