Although he ended the season as the Heat’s starting center, the trade of Hassan Whiteside to the Portland Trail Blazers further cemented his role in the Heat’s lineup. “They said they see a bright future for me, and they’re willing to keep me and I appreciate that,” he said, mentioned, himself, in trade permutations for Russell Westbrook before the Oklahoma City Thunder guard was dealt to the Houston Rockets. “But it is a big responsibility. It’s a lot of pressure to it. I’m about to be 22 on Thursday, and you’re about to become a starting center for a whole season for a big franchise. And that comes with a lot of responsibility and challenges.”
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Chris Paul eyeing Miami move?

So yes, the Heat will need some incentive to take on that hefty contract, and it appears they’re asking for just that. ESPN’s Brian Windhorst appeared on “SportsCenter” Monday night, reporting that Miami is Paul’s preferred destination. One catch — they want their picks back. OKC holds two of Miami’s future first-round selections and, according to Windhorst, the Heat want those included in a potential deal.
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“When you talk about him potentially going to the Miami Heat, which is his preference, one thing I’ve been told in the talks; the fact that the Thunder hold the two of the Heat’s first-round picks in the future — unprotected 2021, protected 2023 — makes this a difficult conversation because the Heat want those picks back,” Windhorst said. “The Thunder have expressed an interest in giving one of those picks back but they would want another pick farther off into the future. So I do think that these teams have a lot to talk about.”