Hassan Whiteside trade rumors are expected to pick up steam as the NBA trade deadline approaches, with teams like the Boston Celtics continuing to get linked to the Miami Heat center. One NBA analyst feels that the Heat won’t be moving Whiteside in the near future. A report by Steve Kyler states that he has been told that it is “highly unlikely” that the Heat will move Whiteside. This was in response to a question about the level of interest that the Celtics have shown in acquiring the All-Star center.
The Celtics would certainly be a good fit for Whiteside as the team has the assets to offer in a deal and could really use an improvement in the low post. The issue would be that Celtics president Danny Ainge still hasn’t seemed willing to overpay to acquire Whiteside, which might be the only way that Heat president Pat Riley pulls the trigger on a deal. None of the top NBA analysts are saying that a deal is close between the two teams despite social media still being in love with the idea of Whiteside joining the Celtics for the second half of the season.
A previous report by the Inquisitr also covered Hassan Whiteside trade rumors, addressing an offer that the Portland Trail Blazers made to the Miami Heat. It had been reported that Portland was offering Mason Plumlee, Maurice Harkless, and Meyers Leonard in exchange for Whiteside. The offer was rejected by Miami earlier in the 2016-17 NBA season, presumably because Portland hadn’t been willing to give up one of its future first-round draft picks. While Portland fans had been hoping the trade could be revisited, it didn’t make sense for Miami.
In 41 games during the 2016-17 NBA season, Hassan Whiteside is averaging 17.1 points, 14.2 rebounds, and 2.0 blocks per game. That is a nice improvement upon his numbers from just last season when he averaged 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game. Whiteside also has two more years left on his deal for salaries of about $23.8 million and $25.5 million. A player option for about $27.1 million is in place for the 2019-20 NBA season, but Whiteside could always select to opt out of the contract and place himself in free agency.
A long-term contract for one of the better centers in the league could make Hassan Whiteside an extremely valuable asset for the Miami Heat. The team could certainly expect to bring back a nice group of assets, including young players and draft picks if it becomes known that he is officially available before the February 23 trade deadline. Past rumors have indicated that he is available for the right price, but his continued presence on the Heat roster indicates that price has not been met.
It wouldn’t be a worst-case scenario if the Miami Heat simply decided to hold on to Whiteside and point guard Goran Dragic for the second half of the season. While neither veteran has been able to elevate the Heat to a playoff contender this season, they could become valuable assets on the roster next year. If Miami continues to struggle, the team is going to end up with a lottery pick in the 2017 NBA Draft. Most basketball analysts feel this is a deep draft with a lot of elite talent at the top of the list. That could help Miami a lot next season.
Whiteside is still only 27, meaning he has a lot of basketball left in his legs. Unless a team like the Boston Celtics, Chicago Bulls, New York Knicks or Portland Trail Blazers decides to overpay for him, it appears very unlikely that he will be playing for another city. That won’t stop the Hassan Whiteside trade rumors from surfacing on social media, though, as it continues to be easy to question the choices that the Miami Heat have made since losing LeBron James to free agency.
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