Should Atlanta Hawks Trade for Hassan Whiteside?

Hassan Whiteside against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images)
Hassan Whiteside against the Atlanta Hawks (Photo by Scott Cunningham/NBAE via Getty Images) /

A swift look at whether or not the Atlanta Hawks should swing a trade for Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat.

The Atlanta Hawks improved a lot after the mess of a season that the 2017-18 campaign was. The team looked completely different by the time 2018-19 rolled around, and the on-court product was also way more entertaining.

With a checked-out Mike Budenholzer gone as head coach and a less-than-scintillating Dennis Schröder replaced by thrill-a-minute collegiate superstar point guard Trae Young, the 18-19 Atlanta Hawks were a joy to behold.

Replacing the stodgy team of 2017-18 with a thrillingly fast-paced modern offensive system implemented by Coach Lloyd Pierce, the Hawks produced a ton of highlights during the season and set the stage for what will likely be an extremely engaging team for non-Hawks fans to imbibe games of as well, making them a sneaky choice for “best League Pass team in the NBA.”

However, that thrilling brilliance on offense was dampened by a defense that could be likened to wet tissue paper. The Hawks were terrible on that end, and it showed on a night-to-night basis.

With that being the case, a recent Bleacher Report trade idea piece outlined a trade in which the Hawks acquire hulking big man Hassan Whiteside from the Miami Heat. Here’s the trade:

Though it’s true that Whiteside’s defensive numbers are excellent, bringing him into the fold would be a mistake for the Atlanta Hawks. Why?

Just look at the Heat as an example. While Whiteside starts games for Miami, he does not finish them. Coach Erik Spoelstra instead opts for springy young big Bam Adebayo to end games. In general, Whiteside is just not a modern player as his lumbering skill set is far more suited to a bygone era of the NBA when slow-footed bigs roamed the paint.

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While it’s true that the Atlanta Hawks need a defensive upgrade at the center position, Whiteside’s outdated mold would harken back to the uninteresting and uninspired 2017-18 team, which is a literal step back after the growth that the team experienced in 2018-19.