At an NBA 3-on-3 event, Heat center and impending free agent Hassan Whiteside received some questions from reporters about his future. And one answer in particular may be telling.
Asked if he'll stay in Miami if all things are equal. Long pause. "We'll see."— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 26, 2016
My guess after those 6 minutes with Hassan: It's going to be hard for Miami to keep him.— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 26, 2016
With these comments, it's always important to take everything with a grain of salt. While serving as a guest host during ABC's coverage of the 2015 NBA Finals, Dwyane Wade started a sentence with, "When I was with Miami." Many thought that Wade made a Freudian slip, but the face of the franchise signed a one-year, $20 million deal to stay with the Heat just weeks later.
On the bright side, Whiteside said that he hopes to make his decision by the July 1 start to free agency. The start of free agency is hectic -- with several teams making bids for the top players. But some teams lose out on all their top choices after waiting to hear back, leaving them with much worse options.
Whiteside says he hopes his situation is resolved on July 1, and that it's an easy decision— Ethan J. Skolnick (@EthanJSkolnick) June 26, 2016
Miami has experienced both ends of the spectrum -- coming up with free agency gold in 2010 with the signings of the Big Three, but losing out on James in 2014. The Heat came out OK two summers ago, managing to keep Chris Bosh and Wade and sign Luol Deng. But waiting to hear back from James also led Riley to sign Josh McRoberts and Danny Granger, two players who were utter disappointments in Miami.
If Whiteside leaves and Durant chooses to stay in Oklahoma City, what options will be left? I guess we'll see.