In the past months, rumors and speculations have continued to swirl that Hassan Whiteside and the Miami Heat will be parting ways this offseason. After returning from an injury, Whiteside expressed his frustration with the team due to lack of playing time, heating up the speculation that he wants to be traded somewhere else. Earlier this month, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald reported that the Heat have made some of the veterans, including Whiteside, available on the trade market with the goal of eliminating their luxury tax bill.
Getting rid of Hassan Whiteside and the remaining two years and $52.4 million on his contract will not only help the Heat save money, but it will also enable them to give more playing time to young center Bam Adebayo. According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, one of the NBA teams that could help the Heat in their current financial situation is the Milwaukee Bucks.
In the proposed trade deal, the Heat would send Hassan Whiteside and a 2020 second-round pick to the Bucks for Matthew Dellavedova and John Henson. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“Convincing the Bucks to send them Matthew Dellavedova and John Henson could let the Heat altogether duck the tax. They save nearly $4.5 million in this deal, which brings their total salary commitments to around $122.5 million—more than $1 million beneath the $123.7 luxury line. The Bucks shouldn’t balk when looking at 2018-19 alone. They have enough breathing room under the luxury tax to float an extra $4.5 million. Assuming Mirza Teletovic’s $3.5 million dead-money hit gets wiped from their ledger for medical reasons, they can treat Whiteside as a $1 million add-on.”
— Erik Spoelstra Heat (@spoelstraheat) August 16, 2018
Aside from getting out of the luxury tax hell, the Heat will be acquiring two players who could boost their second unit. Matthew Dellavedova could serve as the primary backup for Goran Dragic, giving the Heat a defensive-minded point guard who could improve their floor spacing. Unlike Whiteside, John Henson isn’t expected to demand much playing time at the five spot, but Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra could rely on him when he needs a frontcourt help.
Meanwhile, most Bucks fans would surely wonder why Milwaukee should still consider trading for Hassan Whiteside. They already acquired Brook Lopez and Ersan Ilyasova in the recent free agency. Both big men are expected to play significant roles in the Bucks’ frontcourt next season. However, as Favale noted, Whiteside could tremendously improve the Bucks’ performance in terms of rebounding and rim protection. The Bucks should do everything they could to improve their roster in order to strengthen their chance of fully dominating the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference next season.