The Miami Heat have been mentioned in numerous NBA trade rumors in recent weeks, and many of those have involved point guard Goran Dragic. The New Orleans Pelicans have also been discussed frequently in the rumor mill, with most of those trade scenarios having been blockbuster deals for superstar power forward Anthony Davis. There is a current rumor that points to a deal between the Heat and the Pelicans, but this one does not involve the usual suspects of Dragic and Davis.
A recent article on Fansided discusses the possibility of Heat center Hassan Whiteside joining forces with Anthony Davis in New Orleans. Davis is essentially operating as a one-man show with the Pelicans, and the team desperately needs to find a way to add an impact player to help Davis carry the load -- and according to this report, Hassan Whiteside could be that player.The specific trade proposal that is being bandied about online would see Miami shipping Whiteside and shooting guard Dion Waiters to New Orleans. In return, the Heat would receive a package that includes shooting guard Buddy Hield, center Omer Asik, power forward Terrence Jones, and the Pelicans' first-round draft choice (top five protected) in 2017. There are three players mentioned in this NBA trade rumor who are not eligible to be dealt until December 15 (Whiteside, Waiters, and Jones), but since that time is not far off, that shouldn't be a deal-killer for the Heat and the Pelicans.
There seems to be a perception among NBA observers that after losing Dwyane Wade in free agency and getting off to a slow start (4-10) in 2016-17, the Miami Heat may be considering a rebuilding effort. CBS Sports reports that even the team's management has confirmed this theory. Hassan Whiteside arguably has the most value of any player on the Heat roster, so it would be logical to consider trading him for assets that the team can build a future with. However, team president Pat Riley isn't going to give Whiteside away; someone would have to come up with a huge offer to pry Miami's 7-foot center away from the team.
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In this rumored trade proposal, the Heat would acquire Omer Asik, who would battle with long-time Miami contributor Udonis Haslem for minutes at center. Considering that this would be a massive downgrade, the hypothetical package from New Orleans would have to offer the Heat a great deal of value other than Asik, or Pat Riley would hang up the phone quickly on this one. Hield and Jones are both young players with talent, but even when next year's first-round pick is added in, this doesn't appear to be enough to tempt the Miami Heat to trade Hassan Whiteside.
From the New Orleans Pelicans' side of things, this deal would be a very good one. Whiteside would give them a star at center to team with Anthony Davis, and the loss of Buddy Hield and Terrence Jones would not hurt nearly as much as the addition of Whiteside would help. The only way the Pelicans would even have faint hope of pulling this deal off would be to remove the protection from the 2017 first-round draft choice, but even then, it seems doubtful that Miami would take the bait on this theoretical trade offer.Finally, according to data found via the ESPN NBA Trade Machine, this deal would not satisfy the NBA's trade and salary cap rules, as New Orleans would be taking in approximately $12 million too much in yearly salary if this deal were to take place -- so even if the Pelicans were able to convince the Heat to accept the terms of this swap, the NBA would say no.
The latest NBA trade rumors are indicating that a deal between the Miami Heat and New Orleans Pelicans may be in the works. This trade would be a big step forward for the Pelicans, but there doesn't seem to be any way that the Heat would agree to this proposal. The rumored offer also does not work under NBA trade rules, so if this potential swap is, in fact, being discussed by Miami and New Orleans, it would have to be completely reworked to make it a plausible transaction.
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