Hassan Whiteside is playing out of his mind in a contract year

Hassan Whiteside is still cooking. The Heat center further proved his 2014-15 performance was no fluke with a triple-double (22 points, 14 rebounds and 10 blocks) in a loss to Minnesota Tuesday night.

The 7-foot Whiteside, who was playing in the Lebanese League only 21 months ago, is actually having a better output so far than last year, when he became the first player since 1961 to average 10 points and 10 rebounds while getting fewer than 24 minutes per game.

After his performance last night, Whiteside is now the holder of the two best shot-blocking marks in a game by a Heat player, which is impressive considering he’s only worn the Miami jersey 58 times… and even moreso if you also consider we’re talking about the franchise where Alonzo Mourning, one of the best shot blockers of all time, played 593 games.

There are more statistical nuggets to make him look good:

Whiteside currently ranks first in the NBA in blocks (4.6), second in field goal percentage (63.0%) and third in rebounds (11.9).

All that bodes well for him in free agency, of course. We recently moved Whiteside up to No. 9 in our 2016 Free Agent Rankings. A max contract is now not out of the question for a player who failed to make the Grizzlies’ opening-day roster just one year ago.

What a wild ride.

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