NBA trade rumors are circulating that the Miami Heat, which has been spiraling downward since last winning the NBA championship three years ago, would literally consider trading anyone on its roster as it looks to jump-start a new rebuilding process.
In fact, according to ESPN’s Zach Lowe, the 11-29 Heat are literally “open for business” with no one member of its team above being considered for a trade.
“I think the Heat are open for business,” said Lowe during his The Lowe Post podcast, noting that the second-from-last-place Heat would entertain any and all offers that were made to them. “Up and down the roster, literally every player [could be made available for trade]. Literally no one is untouchable, not even Hassan Whiteside, by a long shot.”
Of course, NBA trade rumors concerning Whiteside, the team’s star center, are currently the hottest.
Speculation surrounding the talented 27-year-old defender is certainly nothing new to the newswire, after peaking late last year and reaching a fever pitch this week as numerous NBA teams made a pitch to bolster their respective up-the-middle defenses.
Presumably, the 7′, 365 pound Hassan could be exactly who most NBA teams would fantasize about for this role.
In particular, NBA trade rumors indicate that both the Portland Trail Blazers, according to SB Nation’s Blazers Edge blog, and the Boston Celtics, per the Inquisitr, currently sit as the front-runners should a deal of such magnitude ever actually get pulled off.
The Trail Blazers, in particular, attempted to sign Whiteside to a massive contract this past offseason.
The Heat, of course, have remained noncommittal to trading away the team’s All-Defensive second team player in spite of falling out of playoff contention this season, just three years removed from the team’s last playoff run in 2013. Last season, the Miami Heat fell in the second round of the NBA playoffs to the Toronto Raptors in seven games.
“Whiteside is not available on the trade market,” a team spokesperson told the Palm Beach Post this week. Presumably, the team’s first choice would be to keep the youngish center to serve as the foundation for a new rebuilding process. ThePost noted that while the Heat seem intent on entertaining any and all offers they may receive, the franchise is by no means “actively shopping their $98 million center” who is signed through the 2019-20 NBA season.
The surprising NBA trade rumors were, of course, downplayed by Hassan.
“I never really pay attention to [rumors]. If I pay attention to it I wouldn’t be back in the league,” said the center, who is averaging 17.5 points and a top-of-the-league 14.4 rebounds, per the Palm Beach Post. “There’s all kinds of rumors. A lot of people said a lot of things so I wouldn’t get back in the league. So, I don’t pay it no mind. Nothing really changes for me. [I] still come in, rebound and dominate like I’ve been doing. Nothing really changes.”
Meanwhile, it appears that Whiteside’s teammate, point guard Goran Dragic, could be the one to find a new home before season’s end.
NBA trade rumors continue to swirl that Dragic has been the subject of serious inquiries by at least one NBA team: the Heat’s cross-state rival Orlando Magic.
Speculation surrounding the 6’3″ Yugoslavian player — who Miami signed to a five-year, $90 million contract in July 2015 — has the team being disappointed with his performance on the court but also wanting to save face in a potential trade.
In particular, ESPN’s Lowe said on his podcast that Miami would be likely to “hold out for a hefty return.”
“[The Heat] gave up a ton for Dragic,” he commented. “They’d need to save face in any teardown trade.”
Perhaps this issue — Miami’s desire to improve its image after a series of missteps in recent years — might be the driving force that prevents the team from totally dismantling its roster, as it now sits. The team, which no doubt looks at power forward Chris Bosh’s health concerns this season as a reason for its limited success, and is still at least publicly wondering out loud whether or not it is closer to returning to success than it may actually outwardly appear.
And that is to say nothing of the shocking departures of other star players such as LeBron James and Dwayne Wade in recent years.
With a little bit of retooling, Heat fans hope, the team might be able to get back to that spot again.
The NBA trade rumors, in that respect, may carry a little more weight than ever before.
[Featured Image by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images]