Hassan Whiteside is one of the most talented big men in the NBA and many thought he would be the face of the Miami Heat for a long time. Unfortunately, it appears that Whiteside could end up being on his way out of Miami as early as this offseason. Trade rumors have already been swirling around the Miami big man and it appears the Heat are strongly leaning towards trading him.
According to a report from Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, there is “strong support” among quite a few people within the Heat organization to move on from Whiteside.
Trading Whiteside would be the end of an era in Miami. He has been with the Heat since the 2014-15 season and was expected to be their franchise player after Dwyane Wade left in free agency to go to Chicago a couple years back. Instead, Whiteside’s attitude has gotten the best of him and it seems that he has been unhappy with the role that head coach Erik Spoelstra has given him.
Last season with the Heat, Whiteside ended up averaging 14.0 points per game to go along with 11.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks. He shot 54.0 percent from the field and knocked down 70.3 percent of his foul shots. Those numbers may not look like star caliber averages, but in the right system, he could be a threat.
At 28 years of age, Whiteside is in the prime of his career. Miami will not have to look too hard to find a trade partner for the talented center. There is also a chance that they could decide to stick with Whiteside for one more season to see if they can turn things around with him.
Whiteside has two more seasons on his contract and is scheduled to be paid just over $25 million in 2018-19 and a bit over $27 million in 2019-20. That contract is a big one, but his talent will give them plenty of interest.
Pat Riley will have quite a few decisions to make this offseason. Everything that the Heat do will hinge on the decision they make with Whiteside. Miami might feel comfortable with Bam Adebayo playing the center position next year, as Spoelstra seemed to give the rookie some of Whiteside’s minutes this season.
Expect to hear more rumors surround Whiteside and the Heat as the offseason draws closer. Miami is going to be an intriguing team to keep an eye on this offseason.