Since the start of the 2018 NBA offseason, rumors and speculations continue to swirl that Hassan Whiteside will be leaving the Miami Heat. After returning from injury, the 29-year-old center publicly expressed his frustration with the Heat for receiving lack of playing time and said he wants to be on a team who can give him the opportunity to prove himself in the league.
According to Barry Jackson of Miami Herald, two opposing general managers confirmed that the Heat made Hassan Whiteside available on the trading block. Unfortunately, they are having a hard time finding a team who is willing to absorb the remaining two years and $52.4 million left on his contract. Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report believes the Cleveland Cavaliers will be an ideal trade partner for the Heat involving Whiteside.
Despite losing LeBron James in free agency, the Cavaliers made it clear that they have no intention of undergoing a full-scale rebuild. Their decision to give Kevin Love a massive contract extension showed that the Cavaliers still want to remain competitive in the Eastern Conference. However, the Cavaliers’ roster, as currently constructed, are currently not in a strong position to repeat as Eastern Conference champs, and as of now, they are no longer considered as a threat in the NBA.
If they want to stay as a significant team in the league, trading for Hassan Whiteside makes a lot of sense for the Cavaliers. Whiteside may have gone through ups and downs last season with the Heat, but he is still a walking double-double. In 54 games he played last season, Whiteside averaged 14.0 points, 11.4 rebounds, and 1.7 blocks on 54 percent shooting from the field.
Whiteside could build a formidable frontcourt tandem with Kevin Love. His ability to protect the rim will address Love’s defensive issues. To acquire Whiteside from the Heat, Buckley suggested that the Cavaliers could offer Kyle Korver, Tristan Thompson, and Larry Nance Jr. to Miami. The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“If the Cavs see Whiteside as a substantial upgrade—interior production gives him a strong edge—they may not mind ponying up the extra cash over Thompson’s remaining contract ($36.0 million for the next two seasons combined). They could also cover the other rotation vacancies by leaning on the likes of Ante Zizic, Sam Dekker, Cedi Osman and David Nwaba (assuming he signs).”
The deal will be beneficial for both the Heat and the Cavaliers. Miami will get rid of a player they considered as a distraction while receiving veterans who can immediately contribute to the team. Being in an environment where he will be given more playing time could help Whiteside regain his All-Star form and prove that he is one of the best centers in the league.