Since the 2018 NBA offseason, rumors and speculation have been circulating that the Miami Heat are parting ways with veteran center Hassan Whiteside. However, even though Whiteside publicly expressed his frustration and desire to play somewhere else, Heat President Pat Riley still decided to enter the 2018-19 NBA season with him on their roster.
Unfortunately, Hassan Whiteside dominated the headlines once again after what he did during the Heat’s recent loss against the Orlando Magic. Whiteside left the court before the game had ended, making most people, including Heat Head Coach Erik Spoelstra, believe that 29-year-old big man was extremely frustrated being benched in the fourth quarter.
“Probably extremely upset like we all are,” Spoelstra said.
Coach Erik Spoelstra and some of the Heat veterans tried to fix the issue after the game, and Hassan Whiteside has already apologized for what he has done. Per South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Whiteside explained that he decided to leave the game early because he needed to use the bathroom. However, after being involved in another controversy, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops reported that the Heat continue to look for a trade partner for their disgruntled superstar.
“The Miami Heat continue to look for a taker for center Hassan Whiteside but are having no luck so far, league sources told Amico Hoops. Whiteside hasn’t been playing in fourth quarters and left the bench and headed to the locker room before the final buzzer in the Heat’s home loss to the Orlando Magic. The biggest problem with Whiteside, according to opposing executives, remains his contract. He is making more than $24 million this season and is due $27 million next year.”
— David Baumann ???? (@DavidBaumannORL) December 5, 2018
It’s easy to understand why the Heat are still shopping Hassan Whiteside. They currently have a logjam at their frontcourt, and Coach Spoelstra prefers to use Bam Adebayo and Kelly Olynyk in late games. Whiteside will be an incredible addition to a team who needs a quality rim protector and a rebounder. Despite a decrease in playing time, Whiteside is still averaging 13.5 points, 13.7 rebounds, and 2.9 blocks on 52.3 percent shooting from the field.
What makes it hard for the Heat to find a taker for Hassan Whiteside is his existing contract. Whiteside is currently earning $25.4 million this season and $27 million the following year. However, an opposing executive, who recently spoke with Amico Hoops, believes that the Heat could get rid of Whiteside if they are “determined enough.”
The unnamed executive said that trading Hassan Whiteside before the February NBA trade deadline is “just difficult,” but not impossible for the Heat. The executive suggested that the Heat could sacrifice a future draft pick or find a third team to dump Whiteside.