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Zach Lowe: Isaiah Whitehead one of my “favorite players to watch”

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NBA: Dallas Mavericks at Brooklyn Nets Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports

Zach Lowe is out with his “Marc Gasol All-Stars,” an annual list of 12 of his “favorite players to watch” ... and Isaiah Whitehead, aka “The Cyclone,” is one of them.

Watchability is the only qualification for inclusion on the list and notes there are caveats...

We build a realistic 12-man roster.

We try to cap the number of actual All-Stars at two. We all know Russell Westbrook and LeBron James are enthralling.

Whitehead is one of two rookies on the roster, the other is Joel Embiid, who’s out for the year. Here’s Lowe on what he likes, starting with a bit of an odd declaration, considering.

Whitehead isn't good, and he may never be. But there is a pulsating creativity to the Cyclone's (copyright: Ian Eagle) off-the-dribble game.

He can't blow by NBA guards, so he jukes and feints until he tilts them just enough off-balance that he has an angle into their chests. He sells a sly hesitation dribble by standing upright before crouching back down. He spins like he's in a centrifuge, gaining speed and power without losing vision -- a tough balance to strike.

He's strong, with a 6-9 wingspan, unafraid to plow into 7-footers under the rim:

He's a Brooklyn kid, and the Nets say he's a worker invested in the borough's team. Whitehead has been a part of strong bench units that have helped the Nets to a solid (for them) record since the All-Star break. Keep an eye on this guy.

Not bad for a guy taken at No. 42 ... after being slotted in the 50’s by most draftniks.