Report: Jazz To Sign Center Hassan Whiteside
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Utah Jazz have agreed to terms on a contract with free-agent center Hassan Whiteside according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.
The nine-year veteran began his career in Sacramento, before playing in Miami, and Portland before returning to Sacramento last season.
Whiteside has career averages of 13.3 points and 11.3 rebounds but saw a significant drop in production last season in his second stint with the Kings averaging 8.1 points and 4.3 rebounds.
“Free agent C Hassan Whiteside has agreed to a deal with the Utah Jazz, @ agent Sean Kennedy tells ESPN,” Wojnarowski tweeted.
The veteran has also proven to be one of the league’s best shot-blockers over the last decade twice leading the league in blocks per game including during the 2019-20 season in Portland. Whiteside averages 2.3 blocks per game for his career.
The Jazz needed additional depth at the center positions after trading Derrick Favors to the Oklahoma City Thunder along with a first-round pick in order to clear his $10 million salary from the books, lowering what will be the team’s largest luxury tax bill in franchise history.
The team agreed to a three-year, roughly $70 million contract with All-Star point guard Mike Conley on Monday before coming to terms with veteran forward Rudy Gay early Tuesday.
Adding Whiteside along with Gay gives the Jazz added length that they sorely missed last year in the playoffs. Gay will replace the minutes of free-agent forward Georges Niang who signed with the 76ers late Tuesday night.
The Jazz also have second-year center Udoka Azubuike who was the team’s first-round draft pick in 2020 but missed the majority of last season with a severe ankle injury.
The 32-year-old Whiteside attended college at Marshall for one season before declaring for the NBA draft. The center appeared in just 19 games over the first two seasons of his career before playing overseas in Lebanon and China between 2012-14.
Whiteside returned to the NBA with the Heat where he became a full-time starter for the next seven seasons of his career. Terms of Whiteside’s deal with the Jazz have not been released.