There are rumors that the Miami Heat would be looking to re-tool their roster this summer and Hassan Whiteside’s is one of the names expected to be placed on the trade block. Sun Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman suggested that a deal with the Milwaukee Bucks for a package centered on Khris Middleton would make sense for both teams.
The Heat are hanging on for a playoff spot in the East with a 38-33 record, only a half-game ahead of the current eighth-seed Bucks. They are on a two-game winning run, winning four of their last six games, with Whiteside sidelined, and so speculations abound that the team might be ready to move on from the 7-foot big man in the offseason.
Whiteside has been in and out of Miami’s lineup this season because of a recurring hip injury, and some analysts believe that the team may try to trade him soon. The 28-year-old center has only played 47 games so far, averaging 14.3 points, 11.8 rebounds, 1.0 assists, and 1.7 blocks in 25.9 minutes per game.
The former Marshall standout is just in the second year of his four-year, $98.4 million contract with the Heat, but rumors are out that team president Pat Riley is not satisfied with his production. There was a rumor linking Whiteside to the San Antonio Spurs right after the trade deadline, with the Miami New Times suggesting that the Heat should trade him for Kawhi Leonard this summer.
Replying to a reader’s question on whether a Whiteside trade is possible in the coming offseason, Winderman said that a deal with the Bucks for Middleton and John Henson “could work for both teams.” The reporter said that the Bucks’ current “power void” may force them to trade for a power player like Whiteside even at the expense of one of their most reliable scoring threats in Middleton.
Winderman noted that nothing would be set in stone until the Bucks hire a permanent head coach to replace Jason Kidd. Milwaukee fired Kidd last January after three-and-a-half seasons of service with Joe Prunty now acting as the interim.
There are reports that a new Bucks head coach will be hired at the end of the season, with David Fizdale, Sam Cassell, Jeff Van Gundy, and Jerry Stackhouse emerging as some of the possible candidates, according to Fox Sports.