Whiteside made the announcement early Friday morning, several hours after the start of free agency in which NBA teams are allowed to make contact with free agents. The big man also had a meeting lined up last night with the Mavs in which owner Mark Cuban presumably offered the max deal.
He made the announcement first on Snapchat...
....and then moments later made it official on The Player's Tribune:
I've played on eight teams since college â from Reno to Sioux Falls to Sichuan, China.
I am not ready for there to be a ninth.
I have decided to re-sign with Miami. I just wanted to take this time to tell all the fans how much you mean to this team, and to me.
Can't wait to get back to work and try to bring another championship to Miami. #HeatNation
Heat president Pat Riley had indicated just how important re-signing Whiteside was after the team lost to the Toronto Raptors in the Eastern Conference Semifinals.
"He's our No. 1 priority, period," Riley said. "He's a game changer, and I don't even think he's reached his real ceiling in a couple of areas in his game."
Whiteside finished his first complete season with the Heat averaging 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocks, finishing in third place for NBA Defensive Player of the Year voting and led the league in blocked shots.
Bottom line, Miami retains a valuable asset and will continue to move forward to attract free agents, including their own, with Whiteside locked up.
The Miami Herald's Barry Jackson is reporting that Miami signed him to a four-year deal worth $98 million, the most the Heat could offer him, and he will make $22 million next season (after earning just $981,348 last season). This means that Miami has $20 million left to spend, unless it trades players like Josh McRoberts or even Goran Dragic to free up more cap space should Kevin Durant, who has a meeting with the Heat on Sunday, choose to sign here. Miami will also look to re-sign Dwyane Wade shortly.
Whiteside's new contract is a relative bargain compared to the four-year, $64 million deal that the Los Angeles Lakers agreed to with Timofey Mozgov, who turns 30 later this month, and the four-year, $72 million contract that is currently being negotiated between Joakim Noah, 31, and the New York Knicks.