The 2017-18 NBA season didn’t go well for Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside. Aside from suffering injuries, he found himself having limited playing time and mostly out of the court during crucial situations. Before the season officially came to an end for the Heat, Whiteside publicly expressed his frustration with his diminished role, heating up the speculations that he could be on his way out of Miami in the upcoming offseason.
Earlier this month, Barry Jackson of Miami Herald reported that there is a “strong support” among numerous people from the Heat organization to trade Hassan Whiteside this summer. Unfortunately, trading Whiteside would be nearly impossible, especially with the huge money he is owed for the next two seasons. A deal could become a reality if the Heat are also willing to absorb a huge contract from opposing teams, making the Los Angeles Lakers an ideal trade partner.
With Brook Lopez set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer, David Akerman of Heat Nation believes trading for Hassan Whiteside makes sense for the Lakers. The Lakers have been one of the top suitors of Whiteside in 2016 NBA free agency, and it would not be a surprise if they approach the Heat if the disgruntled center becomes officially available on the trading block in the upcoming offseason.
In the proposed trade deal, the Heat will be sending Hassan Whiteside to the Lakers for Luol Deng, Ivica Zubac, Thomas Bryant, and a 2018 second-round pick. The trade works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. If the deal becomes a reality, it will help both teams in addressing the issues on their roster.
The Lakers will have their new starting center to replace Brook Lopez while successfully dumping Deng and the remaining two-year, $36.8 million deal on his contract. Whiteside will undeniably have enough playing time under Lakers Head Coach Luke Walton, especially if he immediately builds good chemistry with their young players. Aside from acquiring Whiteside, the Lakers could chase a superstar or two in the free agency market.
Meanwhile, the trade will allow the Heat to trade a player who is no longer happy with the team. Deng will return to the team where he played from 2014-16, and there is a possibility that he could see the court once again next season. The deal will also give the Heat two young centers, Ivica Zubac and Thomas Bryant, and help them save about $4.5 million in salary cap space.