Despite the departure of LeBron James in free agency, the Cleveland Cavaliers are still aiming to remain competitive next season. They recently gave Kevin Love a four-year, $120 million contract extension to officially make him the new face of the franchise. LeBron could be just a one man, but no one can deny the fact that he was the main reason why the Cavaliers have ruled the Eastern Conference in the last four years.
Though the Cavaliers still have Kevin Love, their roster, as currently constructed, may even have a hard time earning a playoff spot in the weak Eastern Conference. If the Cavaliers are serious about competing next season, they should do everything they could to improve the team. According to Greg Swartz of Bleacher Report, the Cavaliers may consider targeting Hassan Whiteside once the Miami Heat makes him available on the trade market.
Since the end of the 2017-18 NBA season, rumors and speculations continue to swirl that Whiteside and the Heat could part ways this offseason. Whiteside expressed his frustration with the Heat after receiving a diminished role when he returned from injury. With the emergence of Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk, Whiteside found himself out of the Heat’s rotation and said that he wants to be on a team that can help him prove himself once again in the league.
NEW: Lots of stuff today from Erik Spoelstra, including where things stand with Hassan Whiteside, his reasons for hope with this roster, and why this isn't the same team as a year ago: https://t.co/l9umYhEbTt— Barry Jackson (@flasportsbuzz) July 11, 2018
In need of additional star power, trading for Hassan Whiteside makes a lot of sense for the Cavaliers. As Swartz noted, Whiteside could form a formidable frontcourt tandem with Kevin Love, especially if he manages to return to his 2016-17 version.
“The hope for the Cavs is they get a version of Whiteside similar to that of 2016-17 when he averaged 17.0 points, 2.1 blocks, and an NBA-best 14.1 rebounds. The combination of a motivated Whiteside and a prime Love would be an impressive frontcourt duo for Cleveland—even at a price tag nearing $50 million. While unlikely, there’s a chance Whiteside could choose not to opt into his $27 million player option for next season, opening up a big chunk of cap space.”
In the proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Cavaliers will be trading Tristan Thompson and Kyle Korver to the Heat for Hassan Whiteside. The deal works on ESPN’s NBA Trade Machine. The deal will not only be beneficial for the Cavaliers but also for the Heat. It will enable them to get rid of Whiteside’s lucrative deal that runs until the 2019-20 NBA season while acquiring a cheaper starting center and an elite three-pointer.