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Report: Whiteside to opt-in — and ask for trade

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He wants his money, but also a starting role. Can he get it?

NBA: Miami Heat at Milwaukee Bucks Michael McLoone-USA TODAY Sports

The Miami Herald reported that Hassan Whiteside will opt-in for the final year of the four-year, $98 million deal he signed with the Miami Heat in 2016, a widely expected move. Whiteside is due a $27 million salary for the upcoming year, a number he wouldn’t get had he tested free agency.

But the Assoicated Press’ Tim Reynolds said that Whiteside will ask for a trade when he does opt-in. Bam Adebayo supplanted Whiteside as the Heat’s starting center towards the end of last season.

This news should come as no surprise to anyone. Whiteside has publicly clashed with the Heat about playing time for more than a year. It’s even gone to social media.

Whiteside wants his money, but also wants to start for a team. The problem is that the NBA has changed dramatically since the early part of the 2010s. Shooting is at even more of a premium than when the Heat surrounded the Big Three with Ray Allen and Mike Miller. Whiteside isn’t a good passer. Despite his shot-blocking ability, he isn’t the most agile defender who can cover pick-and-rolls.

Can the Heat trade Whiteside? At this point, it may just be about getting someone in return who will also be overpaid, but can at least be a better fit for the team.