NBA draft

TrueHoop Mock Draft Pick 16: Wolves Select Hassan Whiteside

The 2010 ESPN TrueHoop Network NBA Mock Draft is here and I’m more than glad to represent the Wolves with the 16th pick. Each selection will be made available on network sites (links below), will cover just the first round, and will be made according to prediction, not some blogger preference. Enjoy.

Previous Picks:
Check back hourly for picks until 5 pm today, will start at 8 am on Tuesday.

#1 — John Wall, Washington Wizards — Truth About It
#2 — Evan Turner, Philadelphia 76ersPhiladunkia
#3 — Derrick Favors, New Jersey Nets
#4 — Wesley Johnson, Minnesota T’Wolves
A Wolf Among Wolves
#5 — DeMarcus Cousins, Sacramento Kings Cowbell Kingdom
#6 — Greg Monroe, Golden State WarriorsWarriors World
#7 — Ekpe Udoh, Detroit PistonsPiston Powered
#8 — Al-Farouq Aminu, Los Angeles ClippersClipper Blog
#9 — Xavier Henry, Utah JazzSalt City Hoops
#10 — Paul George, Indiana Pacers8 Points, 9 Seconds
#11 — Cole Aldrich, New Orleans HornetsHornets 24/7
#12 — Ed Davis, Memphis Grizzlies3 Shades of Blue
#13 — Avery Bradley, Toronto RaptorsRaptors Republic
#14 — Patrick Patterson, Houston RocketsHardwood Paroxysm
#15 — Gordon Hayward, Milwaukee BucksBucksketball

January 13, 2010: UCF guard Isaac Sosa (11) runs into Marshall forward Hassan Whiteside (21) on a layup attempt during C-USA basketball game action between the Central Florida Knights and the Marshall Thundering Herd. Marshall defeated Central Florida 81-75 at the UCF Arena in Orlando, Fl.

With the 16th pick in the 2010 TrueHoop Network NBA Mock Draft, the Minnesota TimberWolves select Hassan Whiteside from Marshall University.

The tricky thing about trying to find the diamond in the rough when choosing from a plethora of developing big men is making sure you don’t get stuck with the horrible bust. You can live with a guy that takes four or five years to develop because sometimes that just how long you have to wait. But you can’t live with getting the next Hilton Armstrong.

The choice here is essentially between Hassan Whiteside, Dexter Pittman and Daniel Orton. While Dexter Pittman is probably the toughest guy to gauge of the bunch (I can see him free falling in the draft), it’s not exactly a sure bet with any of the other guys that they’ll be the ones who don’t fail. You could make a very valid argument for Orton over almost any big man in this draft because he’s so young and might have the most potential of the bunch. But the Wolves don’t need potential. They need some wins and production right away.

The reason to go with Whiteside if he falls to this position in the draft is he’s an extremely gifted shot-blocker. I doubt he’ll be knocking down the All-Star selection door throughout his career but if he can give you a couple of baskets, some decent offensive rebounding, good defense and be a deterrent at the rim in however many minutes you give him on the floor, I don’t think you can ask for anything else from a developing big man.

Whiteside has the tools to be a perennial starter in this league. His footwork is pretty good. He has decent tough around the basket and his jumper can look very smooth from 15 feet at times. He doesn’t try to do too much with the ball because he’s pretty raw. However, I don’t think him being raw has anything to do with ability. I just don’t think he’s been shown a whole lot to do with the ball in the low block. You have to deal with his lack of strength (good frame to add on muscle) and his hide-the-children free throw shooting but you have to do that with a lot of centers in this league.

The Wolves need some specialists on this team and especially on the defensive end of the floor. By having Whiteside on the roster, you now have someone to protect the rim when players get past Jonny Flynn, Kevin Love and/or Al Jefferson. Whiteside doesn’t solve any of the problems this team has carrying over from last year but he’s definitely part of the equation.

It’s very likely Whiteside isn’t going to be the best center in this draft. But the Wolves don’t really need him to be either. Just block shots, grab boards, and attack the rim. That’s more than the next Hilton Armstrong will be able to do.

The Chicago Bulls are on the clock

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