The South Florida Sun-Sentinel's Ira Winderman said Thursday that the Miami Heat have guaranteed Hassan Whiteside's $981,348 salary for this upcoming season. Thirteen Heat players now have fully guaranteed salaries for the year. Teams can carry a maximum of 15 players starting opening night.
BasketballInsiders.com first reported that the Heat modified the terms of the contract the breakout center signed last season. His contract initially set staggered dates for his salary; he would receive 50 percent of the nearly $1 million salary if he was on the team by opening night and the full amount if he remained on the roster Dec. 1. But after Whiteside's surprising performance last year, he stands as the starting center for the season. His modified contract erased the waiting periods.
Of course, Whiteside's future with the team beyond this year remains uncertain. Because will only have played for the Heat for two years next summer, Miami will likely have to move below the salary cap to re-sign Whiteside. In NBA salary cap lingo, the Heat will not have his full Bird rights. He could sign with the Heat for roughly the average NBA salary under his Early Bird rights, but he will most likely command far greater than that as a talented 7-footer.
I guess we'll just have to enjoy this year with Whiteside and hope for the best beyond that.