Heat trade rumors include Hassan Whiteside in a big way now. A report on current Miami Heat trade rumors states that the organization is gauging the interest of other clubs in possibly acquiring center Hassan Whiteside. The report comes from a Sunday, February 14 edition of the Miami Herald. Serious reservations about committing long-term money to Whiteside may be at the center of these trade talks.
During the 2015-16 NBA season, Whiteside is averaging 12.2 points, 11.0 rebounds, and 3.9 blocks per game for the Heat. He has started more games this season (40) than his previous three years in the league. Now, Whiteside could be in line for one of the biggest pay raises given out in the NBA offseason. Currently, he makes less than a million dollars in the short-term contract he signed with Miami, but his on-court performance has earned him a big pay raise.
The reason for these Miami Heat trade rumors is that the front office is unsure it can trust Hassan Whiteside with a long-term deal worth somewhere around $17-$20 million a season. Getting ejected from the game on Tuesday, February 9, for ugly behavior on the court has not helped his situation in Miami. There were already a lot of rumors surrounding Whiteside and his future with the Heat, but this exacerbated the situation quite a bit. Now, the team might be looking for a different option in the low post.
Miami Heat team president Pat Riley has a very difficult decision laid out in front of him. Riley has to decide if the team should invest nearly $100 million in the offseason to keep Hassan Whiteside, if the team should just let him walk away in free agency, or if the best move is to complete a deal before the NBA trade deadline. An important piece of information to the equation is that Miami is 29-24, and in fifth place at the All-Star break.
Putting that record into context, Miami is just one game behind the Atlanta Hawks for fourth place in the Eastern Conference, but also just 2and a half games ahead of the ninth place Detroit Pistons. It means a hot streak could push the Heat up the standings, but a cold streak could possibly cost the team a spot in the 2016 NBA Playoffs. Riley has to make the difficult decision of whether the Miami is a true contender with a chance to win the title this year or if the long-term move needs to be made now.
Though there are now a lot of Miami Heat trade rumors that include Hassan Whiteside and which teams might be interested in acquiring him, but isn’t known is how highly the rest of the NBA values the young center. Whiteside comes with no team control, making it risky for any franchise to give up a lot of talent or draft picks to acquire him. This means that Whiteside could be a short-term rental and that many teams won’t be willing to trade Miami something of equivalent value for him. It’s a very tricky situation.
If Hassan Whiteside does get traded, the Heat could simply slide Chris Bosh over to center on a more permanent basis during the 2016-17 NBA season. Not having his salary on the books would also free up the team to pursue more shooters in free agency, possibly giving the Heat a much deeper bench. The team would certainly take a hit on defense, but that could possibly be addressed if a trade is completed before the deadline. With the news that Whiteside has been officially placed on the block, more Miami Heat trade rumors are certainly going to surface before the February 18 deadline.
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