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‘Strong support’ to trade Whiteside in Heat organization

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The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson discussed a potential deal involving DeMarcus Cousins for Hassan Whiteside.

NBA: New Orleans Pelicans at Miami Heat Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson reported May 4 that “there is strong support among numerous people inside the Heat to trade Hassan Whiteside” — a follow-up to his earlier report that the Heat will explore dealing their starting center.

One intriguing possibility Jackson brings up is a DeMarcus Cousins-for-Whiteside swap, which ESPN’s Zach Lowe has called his “favorite fake trade.” Cousins, who will become a free agent this off-season, suffered a season-ending Achilles injury in January. And the Pelicans have done well without him — they swept the Portland Trail Blazers in the first round and just blew out the Golden State Warriors in Game 3 last night.

Jackson said that some in the Heat organization like Cousins and that “the Heat figures to explore” the possibility of a sign-and-trade to acquire Cousins, giving up Whiteside and another player to entice New Orleans, such as Justise Winslow. Such a scenario would give the Heat the ability to acquire a top-10 NBA talent player without tanking.

Among the Heat’s three promising young players — Winslow, Josh Richardson and Bam Adebayo — Winslow is probably the least valuable. Richardson is the Heat’s best two-way player and will only continue to grow, while Adebayo said that he plans to work on “everything” after already showing great defensive versatility as a rookie. Besides, James Johnson is under contract for three more years and offers a lot of the point-forward skills that Winslow brings.

What do you think about the potential trade?