Blazers’ Hassan Whiteside addresses Kevin Love trade rumors
Hassan Whiteside has been in the middle of trade rumors with less than two months left until the trade deadline. The Portland Trail Blazers rumored interest in Kevin Love leaves room for interpretation, as Whiteside’s gigantic expiring contract could be used to salary-match that of Love’s.
Whiteside was heard teasing Carmelo Anthony during a 17-point, 15-rebound, 5-block masterpiece against the New York Knicks on Tuesday, telling his frontcourt partner that “Kevin Love doesn’t rebound like that!”.
He was asked about it after he scored a game-high 33 points and 11 rebounds in Thursday’s loss to the Denver Nuggets.
“And Kevin Love doesn’t block shots like that, either,” Whiteside doubled-down Thursday when asked about the Tuesday exchange with Anthony, according to Jason Quick of The Athletic. “The trade talk … it don’t enter my mind a lot. I was more just messing with Melo. I’m not thinking about it. If we are struggling on defense and you want to (trade for him), I mean, good luck. Good luck with that.”
Love would most likely be taking Melo’s position at power forward if he was traded, though it would be Whiteside’s contract that would serve as the base salary to anchor the trade.
Whiteside makes plenty of sense here though, as the Blazers have struggled defensively and bringing along a known subpar defensive player does them no favors in that department. The Blazers are also expecting center Jusuf Nurkic back from a leg fracture in February, but it’s unlikely that he can make that strong an impact after a year’s absence from the court.
Dwight Jaynes of NBC Sports denied the rumor that Love prefers Portland as his destination, likely just a result of spitballing between his potential destinations.