NBA Free Agency: Miami Heat Sign Hassan Whiteside To A $98 Million Deal

Coming into the off season, Miami Heat team president Pat Riley stated that keeping Hassan Whiteside is the team’s main priority. According to ESPN.com, Whiteside and the Heat have come to an agreement. The financial terms have not been officially revealed yet, but sources are stating that the seven-foot center is receiving around $98 million for four years.

Hassan Whiteside stated a couple days ago that he would like to get a deal done on the first day of free agency, and he did just that. Whiteside made the decision to re-sign with the Miami Heat on Friday morning.

Coming into to free agency, no one knew where Hassan Whiteside would end up. The only thing known was that he is going to be commanding a maximum contract. There were plenty of teams in the NBA that were willing to offer him just that.

Whiteside met with only two teams on Friday. He met with the Miami Heat first, but the two sides could not come to an agreement right away. The second team he met with was the Dallas Mavericks. According to SB Nation, the Mavericks were coming in as the favorites to sign Whiteside.

Hassan Whiteside has played for eight different teams since joining the NBA. He stated on the Players Tribune that he is not ready to join a ninth team. Whiteside decided to stay with the team that helped him blossom into one of the most dominant big men in the National Basketball Association today.

Last season, Hassan Whiteside had a breakout year. He is signing a contract that is worth roughly 100 times more than what he made the year before. The Miami Heat signed Whiteside to a two-year deal a couple of years ago. The addition of Whiteside paid off for the Heat. He is one of the highest paid players in Miami franchise history.

Miami Heat guard Dwyane Wade
Hassan Whiteside averaged 14.2 points this season. If he keeps developing his low post skills, Whiteside could average over 20 points a game soon. Hassan Whiteside also averaged 11.8 rebounds per game. He is in the top three for rebounds in the NBA. Whiteside is behind Andre Drummond and DeAndre Jordan. Drummond just came to an agreement with the Detroit Pistons. He signed a deal worth $130 million. Jordan signed a huge deal with the Los Angeles Clippers last summer.

Rebounding is not the only thing Hassan Whiteside is good at. He is a tremendous shot-blocker. Whiteside averaged a career high with 3.7 blocks a game, which puts him at the top of the NBA. Whiteside has a knack for swatting the ball away. He has players second guessing about driving into the paint. Whiteside could develop into an elite interior defender.

Miami Heat forward Chris Bosh
The Miami Heat will now shift their focus to re-signing Dwyane Wade. A couple days ago, the negotiation between Wade and the Heat were not going to well. According to CBS Sports, the All-Star is considering leaving the Heat. Pat Riley is hoping that Wade decides to stay with the team.

It might be safe to assume that the Miami Heat will be out of the race for Kevin Durant. It seems nearly impossible for the Heat to make the math work on new contracts for Hassan Whiteside, Durant, and Dwyane Wade. The Heat will still meet with Durant on Sunday.

With the status of Chris Bosh still up in the air, Hassan Whiteside is going to be counted on to produce at a high level. He will be expected to lead the Miami Heat even further into the postseason not as a role player, but also as a star.

[Photo by Rob Foldy/Getty Images]