NBA Rumors: Hassan Whiteside Wants Max Contract, Has Multiple Suitors If Miami Offers Less

NBA rumors have swirled that Hassan Whiteside will only sign a maximum contract offer, leaving the Miami Heat with a difficult decision to make about one of their top athletes, according to multiple sources.

The Palm Beach Post identified exactly what to expect from the Hassan Whiteside free agency market. Calling him the second-most sought after player this off-season, the 27-year-old Miami Heat center will have plenty of decisions to make on July 1.

“Outside of Kevin Durant, Whiteside is arguably the most coveted free agent on the open market this summer and could hear offers in excess of $80 million over four years. There are at least a dozen teams with the need and the money to make that happen.”

Several sources have confirmed that Hassan Whiteside has multiple suitors lined up ready to make him a max contract offer, Basketball Insiders reported on Friday. Chief among the suitors for Hassan Whiteside are the Los Angeles Lakers and the Boston Celtics, the article explained.

“There is a sense that Whiteside is one of the top names on the Lakers’ wish list of free agents, with the Celtics also interested. The problem with trying to peg either as having some edge over the other neglects that Whiteside could be the most obtainable free agent in the class and likely gets a lot of interest beyond those two suitors.”

The Los Angeles Lakers are extremely interested in signing Kevin Durant this year as they eye a quick turnaround this season, the Inquisitr previously reported. In addition to having the No. 2 pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, Kevin Durant could be paired with another impact player — such as Hassan Whiteside — thanks to Los Angeles having massive salary cap space available this offseason.

The Boston Celtics are also in the market for a strong front court presence, explaining their reason to be interested in Hassan Whiteside. With the Celtics owning eight selections in 2016 NBA Draft, rumors have suggested that Boston could pull off a sign-and-trade with the Miami Heat to deliver Hassan while not leaving the Florida franchise empty-handed.

In order to make a max contract offer, the Miami Heat will rely on its long-time star — Dwayne Wade — to provide the financial wiggle-room to sign Hassan this summer. By offering the max contract to Hassan Whiteside, Miami would only be able to offer their veteran guard roughly half of the contract he could sign, according to BasketballInsiders.

“As things stand today, the Heat could get to about $40 million in cap space, but that figure has to account for Wade’s new deal and whatever is paid to Whiteside. While Whiteside was drafted in 2010, he only has two full years of NBA experiences, which sets his maximum possible starting salary at $21.6 million. The Heat can make that work with a little help from Wade.”

If Hassan Whiteside does leave the Miami Heat, the NBA franchise may already have other players in mind. Rumors have suggested that the Miami Heat would target Al Horford, Joakim Noah, or Dwight Howard in free agency to replace Hassan Whiteside.

One reason that the Miami Heat may not offer Hassan Whiteside a max contract is the NBA franchise’s pursuit of Kevin Durant. The Oklahoma City Thunder star is the biggest free agent this summer, and as many as 10 teams — including the Los Angeles Lakers and Boston Celtics — are interested in signing the forward. Kevin Durant is expected to stay with the Oklahoma City Thunder this years, however, as the team can offer him $50 million more than any team after next season to remain with the only franchise he’s ever played for, the Inquisitr reported.

Hassan Whiteside finished the 2014-2015 NBA season with 13.9 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 2.8 blocks per contest. His performance improved over the course of the season with Hassan netting 17.5 points, 13.3 rebounds, and 3.4 blocks per outing after the February All-Star break.

Do you think that Hassan Whiteside will re-sign with the Miami Heat or another NBA franchise as rumors have indicated? Leave your thoughts in the comment section below.

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