After ranting about limited playing time, Hassan Whiteside could part ways with the Miami Heat in the upcoming offseason. Several NBA teams who are in dire need of a superstar center could express interest in trading for the disgruntled big man. Will the Cleveland Cavaliers be in the mix of potential Whiteside suitors?
Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report recently suggested some potential trade packages and landing spots for Heat star center Hassan Whiteside. These include a deal that will send Whiteside and Justise Winslow to Cleveland for Kevin Love and a 2021 second-round pick. The proposed trade will help both teams in filling up the areas they need to improve their roster.
Trading Whiteside will let the Heat give more playing time to younger big men like Kelly Olynyk and Bam Adebayo. Aside from suffering injury, one of the major reasons why Whiteside received a diminished playing time this season is because of the emergence of Olynyk and Adebayo. The Heat could end the drama surrounding the team by moving Whiteside to a team who could give him more opportunity to showcase his skills.
Miami will surely appreciate the potential acquisition of Kevin Love. The 29-year-old power forward hasn’t been his usual self since teaming up with LeBron James in Cleveland. Joining a team where he could be the main option on the offensive end of the floor could help him bring back the “Minnesota Kevin Love.”
However, for the Cavs to pull the trigger on the Kevin Love for Hassan Whiteside trade, two things need to happen, according to Buckley. First, the Cavaliers should convince LeBron James to sign an extension or at least opt in of the final year of his contract. Trading for Whiteside doesn’t make sense if James will leave. James’ departure will mark the start of Cleveland’s full-scale rebuild.
Second, their defense in the ongoing 2017-18 NBA season should prove that they need Whiteside’s presence on the team. Buckley believes Love should also struggle once again in the playoffs for the Cavaliers to make him available in the trade market. Trading for Whiteside isn’t bad at all for Cleveland since they have been looking to improve their center position in the past years.
Even if they lose Kevin Love in the process, the Cavaliers still have enough assets, specifically the Brooklyn Nets’ 2018 first-round pick, to make another blockbuster trade. A previous Inquisitr article revealed that the Cavaliers are “closely monitoring” the drama between Kawhi Leonard and the San Antonio Spurs where the Brooklyn pick could be used as a trade chip.