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Will Hassan Whiteside form the new Big 3?

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We've all been impressed with Hassan Whiteside, but can his growth change how the Heat operate in future free agency? Can he be a part of a Big 3?

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Let's take a little bit of a far approach here.

Based off one breakout game, I can understand why I'm leaping to conclusions too early, but considering how the Heat haven't played their next game yet, I'm running with my imagination. The Miami Heat fan base believes in Pat Riley like he's a legendary tale passed from generation to generation. No matter how awful this sub .500 season gets, Riley has earned the patience of everyone around him due to the results he achieves. This season and next was supposed to be similar to 2008 and 2009, where the Heat would get into the playoffs and quickly exit after the first round. 2016 was supposed 2010. You remember 2010 right?

Lets look at specific players now and their importance to 2016. James Ennis might be playing a heavy load of minutes because Danny Granger and Luol Deng will both be Free Agents come 2016. Shabbaz Napier's role will also be increased because or Norris Cole and Mario Chalmers, with Cole being a free agent next season itself and Chalmers just being Chalmers. Tyler Johnson will be important because the face of this franchise is 32 years old (Dwyane Wade if you're reading this, I apologize) All this brings me to one person no one accounted for to make an impact: Hassan Whiteside, who in the end can bring 2016 in 2015. Let me explain.

Whiteside is only on this team due to a season ending injury to Josh McRoberts. Riley loves big men but other than Zo and Shaq, not many have worked out under his regime. Here is a 25 year old who was supposed to be a project at best. This guys was supposed to be the next Greg Oden or Eddy Curry, and instead Miami has stumbled on gold wearing red and black.

So what is the ceiling for someone that wasn't accounted for? This is a team that was "position-less" for the past 4 years, now with a 7 footer that takes up 260 lbs of space, carrying a game on both sides of the floor. What is the potential for a guy that lets Chris Bosh be Chris Bosh and Dwyane Wade become a passer again? The answer is simple. Hassan Whiteside can become the Free Agent of 2016 that Miami got in 2015. You and I are not ready to call Whiteside an Anthony Davis but based off one game against a front court of Blake Griffin and DeAndre Jordan, there had to be one play where you were thinking this guy has Davis like potential.

Whiteside has so much more to learn. He still goes for every pump fake and picks up fouls easily. He still does terrible at the free throw line. But this is a guy without an off season or training camp under the Heat. So imagine as he gets better, what he could be in 2016? If you have Hassan Whiteside developing his game into an athlete like Anthony Davis, how far off are you from an NBA Championship?

Not only did the Heat get a valuable asset, but one with a chip on his shoulder. One motivated not for just a contract past this year but one wanting to display his talents to every team in the league for passing on him. He isn't a rookie. Drafted in 2010, Whiteside has been through the D League and has traveled as far as Lebanon. Every team could have had him. Only one team got him. Now imagine where his motivation can take him considering this season is his first real NBA shot?

I get that I'm over exaggerating. Whiteside could very play sub par here on out and I'll look like a complete fool for writing up this story and anointing him as the Heat's next big Center. Especially in a league where the Center position is dying. But what Whiteside did in one game was spark the imagination. Its up to him to make that imagination a reality. The reality of 2016 came a year early.