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.
There is a growing belief that when Hassan Whiteside picks up his Heat option for next season, he’ll do so while asking for a trade. (Also, I don’t think this should surprise anyone. It’s no secret that he wants a different role.)— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 18, 2019
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.