Free Agency is a mere three days away. Once again the Miami Heat are caught up in the middle of the basketball conversation. Not only are they trying to make a play for the top free agency prize of 2016 in Kevin Durant but they are attempting to retain their own assets in Dwyane Wade, possibly Luol Deng and Hassan Whiteside.
$42 million seems like alot of money.
It's not in this basketball climate.
It's going to take financial gymnastics from cap guru Andy Elisburg to make everything come to fruition. Even that may not be enough. Something may have to give.
This is why I think Miami Heat fans for their own sake need to prepare for a future without Hassan Whiteside. Some of his comments this past weekend should give fans more cause for pause. Whiteside's comments seem to suggest he is non-committal to the Heat and the vibe is he's ready to be taken to the highest bidder.
Teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Golden State Warriors and Dallas Mavericks are rumored to be making "aggressive" plays for Whiteside's services come July 1st. All of that can be washed away if Heat management make "all things equal" and sign Hassan to the max. My hunch tells me they rather not.
The problem isn't whether Hassan Whiteside wants to stay or go. The larger issue is whether the Miami brass want to pony up the max price tag to get it done.
If there is a guy who knows centers and the mindset of the position, it's Pat Riley. Now Im not going to sit here and sell you on the idea that Riley never makes any mistakes cause he's had his fair share of them. But what I am going to say is in the case of Hassan Whiteside, whatever side you make take as to pay him or letting him walk, it's Riley's intuition I think people need to trust this July.
For a quick history lesson, Pat Riley played with Wilt Chamberlain. He coached Kareem Abdul Jabbar. Coached Patrick Ewing. Coached Alonzo Mourning. coached Shaquille O'Neal.
His track record speaks for itself.