I haven't devoted any articles this season to a single player yet.
But I feel Hassan Whiteside has earned it.
Who the hell is this guy?
Currently ranked the #3 Fantasy Basketball player over the last 14 days, Hassan had played a total of 19 NBA games COMBINED since 2010.
That's 5 years ago.
Now I have to seriously wonder whether or not Hassan Whiteside is a 1st round pick next season?
Check out his numbers over the past 2 weeks: 16.8 PPG, 15.3 RPG, 3.8 BLK, 61.3 FG%. That includes his game last night against the T-Wolves where he went 20 & 20, shooting over 90% from the field. (Exact numbers: 24 points, 20 rebounds, 12/13 FG, 3 steals, 2 blocks.) He also had a game against the Bulls where he got 12 blocks in a single game. (It was actually an unconventional triple double of 14 points, 13 rebounds and 12 blocks.)
Not bad for a 2nd rd pick in the 2010 draft who spent the last couple years in the D-League, as well as other lesser known places.
So is he for real?
I have absolutely no idea.
Hassan's tale is quickly becoming sports legend. He could easily go the way of Linsanity (which is to say he evaporates into thin air as quickly as he emerged), or he could be a Dennis Quaid movie happening before our eyes...
He started the way many NBA prospects do: A high 2nd rd pick of the Sacramento Kings. Taken as the 3rd pick of the 2nd round, Hassan's freshman year at Marshall yielded 13.1 PPG, 8.9 REB and 5.4 BLK. It's not like his current numbers don't have a track record to back them up. The real trouble for Whiteside started in 2011, when a knee injury sidelined him for the entire year.
He tried to resume his career in 2012, and began a roller coaster ride in the D-league, which culminated in Hassan Whiteside being waived by the team that drafted him on July 16, 2012.
In 2013, he was playing in China - putting up video game numbers and becoming the Finals MVP for the champion Sichuan Blue Whales. (In case you're curious: 25.7 PPG, 16.6 REB, 5.1 BLK.)
He then spent a bit of time in the Lebanese Basketball League.
After another circuitous journey that involved being signed/waived by the Memphis Grizzlies, and more adventures in the D-league, he somehow ended up on the Miami Heat roster this season. After riding the bench for most of the season, he finally got a chance to play significant minutes in January.
And now he's basically been the hottest player in Fantasy Basketball for 2015.
Book rights aside, what can we expect from Hassan Whiteside?
The pragmatic part of me says that a D-Wade return to action could really eat into Whiteside's usage, but we're talking about an incredibly efficient basketball player here.
His advanced stats are off the charts: While he doesn't actually technically qualify, here are his ranks in key categories...
REBOUNDING % - 1st (26.5)
BLOCK % - 1st (11.1) ----- nobody is even close here
TRUE SHOOTING % - 4th (.657)
PER - 2nd (28.9)
WIN SHARES PER 48 MINUTES - 5th (.243)
I have a very difficult time believing that these beastly numbers, which he's mostly kept up for about a month, are just going to fade away completely. While I see him more as a DeAndre Jordan than an Anthony Davis, it's pretty good company to keep.
If you were lucky enough to snag Hassan (I wasn't), he's an ABSOLUTE HOLD in dynasty leagues. Some of you may be tempted to sell high. If you can get a proven track record with similar numbers, I would sign off on that. But his upside is so high, I can't imagine I'd let an asset like this go...
I mean, just the story alone is pretty exciting.
He's floating right around the DeAndre Jordan/Andre Drummond territory. And players like that are almost impossible to find...
He's not PERFECT though - as he's a career 52.5 % from the free throw line.
But in a punt-FT% strategy, he could be the foundation of your success - much like vintage Dwight Howard was for many of us years ago...
In summation, I wouldn't cut off my arm to acquire Hassan Whiteside. But maybe a hand or two.
I guess I could always dictate my articles to Siri.