NBA Insider Reveals Nets Plans to Pursue Shot-Blocking Big Man in Free Agency

Hassan Whiteside

Getty Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Utah Jazz reacts to a play during the first half of a game against the Phoenix Suns

The Brooklyn Nets are known to need a big guy. Currently, Nic Claxton is the true center likely to take the starting slot. Aside from Claxton, the team is anticipated to give Ben Simmons minutes at the center position, and they have Day’Ron Sharpe, who was dubbed one of the leagues ‘best kept secrets,’ and after a solid summer league could steal some minutes in the Nets rotation. 

However, despite plans of running Simmons at the five and Claxton getting minutes as well, Nets Insider Kristian Winfield recently shared that the team is still pursuing another veteran big man. Winfield noted Simmons’ history with back problems on ‘The Athletic NBA Show‘ and stated he believes they should be looking for other options at center. He named Myles Turner as a player the Nets are targeting via trade at the moment. 

“I don’t think it’s the best idea to have a guy whose got chronic back issues playing at center against these giants we’re talking about,” Winfield said. “To my understanding, the Nets still have their mid-level, and they’re still looking at trades. If they’re able to come up on Myles Turner, I think this team is destined for a big run.” 

Potential Veteran Free Agent Target Hassan Whiteside

Winfield also noted another veteran free agent that the Nets could target that is available via free agency and has performed well in the back up center role recently. 

“Other than that, you are looking at free agents. I don’t think Hassan Whiteside has been placed yet. I think he would be a good fit. He looked really really good in some of those games where Rudy Gobert came out. You put Hassan Whiteside on the floor, and I think he is past some of those bonehead play years too,” Winfield said.

He’s right. Whiteside, at times last season with the Utah Jazz looked really good playing minutes opposite Rudy Gobert. The veteran center averaged 8.2 points, 7. 6 rebounds, and 1.6 blocks in nearly 18 minutes of play per game. He has improved a lot in recent seasons, accepting his role and not wanting to be the teams leading scorer. 

Both Aldridge and Thompson pointed out that aside from rebounds, you don’t get much as far as actual contributions from Whiteside, and Winfield rebuttalled with the team having Andre Drummond last year, they know what a player like Whiteside brings, and he believes they are fit to accept that with Whiteside and he fills a hole of a veteran big to play minutes with Claxton and Simmons. 

Could Brooklyn Target DeMarcus Cousins?

After talking about Whiteside, it was also noted that another veteran big man was still available, and if that’s a need for Brooklyn, what if they went after DeMarcus Cousins? They noted it would be fun to watch him play alongside the newly signed Net Markieff Morris. The conversation wasn’t anything more than just talk, but Cousins did have a pretty good year last season in Denver, and it would be interesting to see what the veteran could bring to this Brooklyn Nets team. 


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