NBA Rumor: Hassan Whiteside Trade?

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Whiteside is having an outstanding season. He’s shooting 61.1 percent from the floor, averaging 16 points and 14.1 rebounds per game along with a league-leading 3.1 blocked shots. All of those figures are higher than his career averages were, heading into this season. “It’s definitely the best I’ve played, overall,” he said. “I feel like every season I’m getting better. Being with guys like CJ and Dame makes it easier for me. “And I’m playing the minutes. The last two years in Miami, I was playing 23 minutes. Now I’m back to playing 30 minutes.”

Does he ever think about NOT getting traded, about being here the rest of the season and maybe even next year? “Yeah,” he said. “For sure. It’s definitely something I’ve thought about and something I want. “But it’s not all up to me. I would love to play back with CJ and Dame. I’ve known those guys for four or five years. Great guys. “I’m building chemistry with this coaching staff. I really like this coaching staff. I’m enjoying Portland. It’s going to start heating up around here soon. “I’m excited about it.”

Sunday, of course, is the first day players who were acquired in the offseason are eligible to be traded, even though Neil Olshey, the team’s top executive, said this week there is nothing brewing. That hasn’t stopped the rumor mill from heating up, which has included one report saying Kevin Love would prefer a trade to Portland. That rumor apparently reached the eyes and ears of Whiteside, who during Tuesday’s game against New York was shouting during play to Anthony that “Kevin Love doesn’t rebound like that!” “And Kevin Love doesn’t block shots like that, either,” Whiteside said Thursday when asked about the Tuesday exchange. “The trade talk … it don’t enter my mind a lot. I was more just messing with Melo. I’m not thinking about it. If we are struggling on defense and you want to (trade him), I mean, good luck. Good luck with that.”

2 years ago via ESPN

Center Hassan Whiteside told reporters Wednesday that he met with Miami Heat president Pat Riley and coach Erik Spoelstra last month and he is in a better place with the team now. “We had a great talk,” Whiteside told reporters on a conference call to discuss Saturday’s NBA game in Africa, in which he plans to play. “I just think it’s trust on both sides. I think that’s the biggest thing … It was about a four-hour meeting. It was a lot about life. It was two hours basketball, two hours life. It was a good meeting.”

And unless something significant changes, it’s increasingly likely the Heat will need to wait until the summer of 2020, not 2019, to again be in position to make a franchise-altering free agent signing. That wasn’t necessarily the plan. The Heat has tried to move Hassan Whiteside and Tyler Johnson this offseason but has not found a trade market, according to three people in contact with the team. Dion Waiters’ name also has been raised, one of these people said.

Creating significant space next summer would take moving mountains, either trading at least two — likely three — significant contracts or hoping that Goran Dragic opts out of a $19.2 million payment for 2019-20 or Whiteside opts out of $27.1 million for that season. Dragic could opt out if he has a big season, though there’s a good chance he plays out this contract. It seems unlikely Whiteside opts out, unless he has an All-Star caliber season. Even if the Heat makes Whiteside miserable by further diminishing his playing time, it would seem improbable he walks away from that big a paycheck, according to a source.

What are the chances Boogie signs somewhere on a 1 yr deal to prove himself? My guess is it would be around 20-25 mil and to a team that could afford to do so. I’m a Bulls fan and feel like they could offer him that given that they need a big but want to maintain financial flexibility for 2019. David Aldridge: “I think a short deal is possible, but again: there just aren’t that many teams who have the means or the interest in doing so. Dallas could; the Mavs have long been rumored to have strong interest in Cousins, and their roster and style of play are fits for him. The Bulls have the room but I don’t hear anything indicating they have interest. Robin Lopez has a year left on his deal and I think Chicago is happy with him; the Bulls want to play fast going forward, and that’s not Cousins’ strength. Miami wants to move Hassan Whiteside, but I can’t see New Orleans being interested in a sign-and-trade deal for him involving Cousins.”

But if a guy [Hassan Whiteside] is a 7-footer, and motivated to serve as a rim-roller and a rim-protector and has some offensive game and isn’t a complete jerk and can be melded into the salary cap? He’s still got a place. And yes, if certain “sweeteners” were part of the deal, the Mavericks, I’m told by NBA people close to the situation, could still have a place for him. The Mavs themselves cannot say this, of course; his contract is property of another team, and announcing interest is tantamount to tampering. But the Mavs can and do scout players, all of the players, as all teams do. And I’ll give you an “educated guess” that their opinion of Whiteside, at the right cost, mirrors Whiteside’s opinion of himself.

Most of Whiteside’s complaints in recent months concerned playing time, including an expletive-filled rant that drew a substantial fine from the Heat in late March. In his latest video, Whiteside is seen sinking a long jump shot. “You don’t know I got this jumper,” he said in the video. “There’s a difference between you can’t shoot and you’re not allowed [to shoot].” The Heat declined to comment on the video.

Asked if he thought it was time to talk to the coaching staff, Heat President Pat Riley or General Manager Andy Elisburg, Whiteside said, “No. I don’t know if it is because of a minutes restriction or what. The minutes have been like that all year. It’s just really frustrating and it’s been frustrating. “It’s tough. I don’t know man, it’s crazy. I don’t understand it.” Asked if it has him questioning his future with the team, he said. “I don’t know, maybe.” Asked who he might take the issue up with, he said, “I don’t know​.”

At this time of year, that will automatically get a guy like Whiteside included in the daily trade rumor mill. But league sources tell Sporting News that a move involving Whiteside would be a longshot, because for all the frustration he gives to Spoelstra, the Heat know how valuable he has been to their rise as a defensive force in the East, which has moved them into contention for one of the top three seeds in the conference. The Heat are 18-9 in their last 27 games, and have ranked third in defensive efficiency in that stretch.

The Bucks have been looking for frontcourt help for some time. The dark horse candidate for the Bucks could be Miami’s Hassan Whiteside, but sources close to the HEAT continue to say its unlikely they are going to make him available in trade, but admitted teams have called, meaning Miami has options. The Bucks seem open to adding to their monster payroll now. The question becomes what to do with would be free agent Jabari Parker, who is still rehabbing from an ACL injury and may not be able to play until early March.

“You could get a lottery pick, but a late lottery pick,” one scout said. “I could see a first rounder and a decent player — a rotational guy — but not a lottery pick and a decent player. I would be shocked if you got an all-star for him. No way.” The scout cited numerous reasons for that, including the fact that many teams are thriving without a traditional center. “It’s like DeMarcus Cousins, a small universe of [traditional centers]. And Cousins is more talented, though his reputation is worse.”

Whiteside is in the second year of a four-year, $98 million deal and he certainly is not untouchable. But will the Heat actively shop their defensive anchor? That question should be easier to answer as we get closer to the Feb. 8 trade deadline and beyond. As long as the Heat stay in the hunt, Pat Riley will not weaken the team. Making the playoffs is important to Riley and the players. But Riley never stops exploring ways to get better and if Adebayo continues to improve and the Heat believe he and Kelly Olynyk can anchor the middle, than, yes, Whiteside becomes a bit more expendable. But a lot has to happen if the Heat decided to deal Whiteside. First, a team must be willing to take on the remainder of his contract and secondly, that team must have a star that Riley would require if his is trading one of his building blocks.

That had Whiteside answering speculation Tuesday night in the wake of ESPN’s Zach Lowe offering on a podcast, “I think the Heat are open for business. Up and down the roster, literally every player. No one is untouchable, not even Hassan Whiteside, by a longshot.” “I never really pay attention to it,” the shot-blocking center said before the Heat faced the Golden State Warriors at Oracle Arena. “If I pay attention to it, I wouldn’t be back in the league. There’s all kind of rumors. A lot of people said of lot of things to keep me from being back in the league.”

Heat open to trading Hassan Whiteside?

ESPN’s Chris Broussard said the Heat is gauging trade interest in Whiteside, and two people in contact with the Heat told me that Miami appears open to considering a Whiteside trade, if it can dump other salary and get quality talent back, because it knows it’s going to be uncomfortably costly to keep him. Heat officials have expressed frustration with him, for reasons we explained in last Sunday’s column. But the Heat also knows the odds would be against a trade this week because he’s earning just $981,000 (causing cap complications) and the team acquiring him wouldn’t have any financial advantage in re-signing him.

If Miami can’t land a star and moves on from Whiteside, one potentially appealing scenario (my opinion here) would be moving Bosh back to center and using the $37 million on Wade and two shooters, perhaps stretch-four Ryan Anderson (averaging 16.7 points and shooting 38.3 percent on threes for New Orleans) and a wing such as Bazemore, though Miami also would need to add another backup big in this scenario, too. Word is Miami likes Anderson, incidentally.

With all of that said, it’s been a long time since the Heat has been as adamant in denying a report as it has been about this one: the report that it is trying to move Hassan Whiteside to get DeMarcus Cousins or Dwight Howard. But it’s not like the team is angry. More like amused. Flabbergasted. That’s because a lot of the logistics simply don’t make any sense. Start here: Whiteside’s contract is virtually worthless to another team. That doesn’t mean Whiteside is worthless. His skill set is worth plenty, even in a smallball era. But he’s making just $981,348 this season, and he will be a free agency as soon as the season ends. Miami cannot sign him to an extension now and, unless he’s willing to take a mid-level deal (he won’t be), the Heat will need to use cap space to re-sign him because it doesn’t have Bird Rights on him.This is a dilemma, and it will be very tricky to keep Whiteside and Dwyane Wade and add talent this summer. But here’s the thing about the Heat not having Bird Rights: Neither would any team that acquires him.
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