If you kept up with the Miami Heat at all last season, you probably noticed the strained relationship between Hassan Whiteside and the organization. There were times where Whiteside appeared to lack effort, which was completely shown in the playoff loss to the 76ers.This in turn forced the Heat to limit his minutes on the court. After he started receiving less minutes, that’s when he started to criticize the coaching, which ultimately put them at crossroads. So the big question now is: What should the Heat do with Whiteside?
Looking at the Miami Heat’s Dilemma with Hassan Whiteside
If the Heat were to do this, they would be keeping a high end player. Whiteside is one of the best defenders in the entire NBA, averaging 11.4 rebounds and 1.7 blocks per game last season, while also pouring in 14 PPG. The question isn’t if Whiteside has the ability to play at a high level, it’s whether he will give 100% and not cause conflict within the organization. If the two sides are able to patch things up, keeping him might just be the best option out there. He needs to step up and become a veteran leader like Dwyane Wade and Goran Dragic. If the problem continues, this would be the worst thing the Heat could do. Having a bad locker room is maybe the worst problem a team can have. It creates chemistry issues and bad press. With a lack of trade partners this is the most likely outcome for the team.
Trading Whiteside seems to be the preferred option on both sides. It has been rumored that the Heat have been actively shopping Whiteside, but have not had any takers. A trade would help both sides by eliminating all of the drama so everyone can just focus on basketball. For Whiteside he could likely get the bigger role he wants, and for the Heat they would be clearing plenty of cap space. Getting a trade done isn’t going to be easy. A lot of teams watched Whiteside on and off the court, and they didn’t like what they saw. Most teams won’t be willing to take on a contract that size either, making a trade unlikely at this point. This may be the preferred option by both sides, but don’t expect one any time soon.
Releasing Whiteside is something that neither side wants and hopefully will never come too. This option would hurt the organization more than anybody else. Whiteside’s contract is fully guaranteed for the next two seasons, meaning that if they release him, they will have to pay him for his entire contract. This option wouldn’t hurt Whiteside financially, however it could hurt his reputation. If things got that bad between him and the team that it forced them to release him, most teams wouldn’t want a player like that. Getting released is the most unlikely of all the options because right now, there is only some minor conflict between him and the team. A release is highly unlikely, but still something to keep an eye on over the course of the season.
So What’s Going To Happen?
Nobody know for sure what Hassan Whiteside’s future holds, but at this point it seems like the Heat will keep him. At this point it’s not a big issue and both sides are likely looking to keep it that way. No matter what happens, this will definitely be one of the most interesting storylines to follow in the upcoming season.
MIAMI, FL – MARCH 31: Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Miami Heat in action during a NBA game against the New York Knicks on March 31, 2017 at AmericanAirlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. (Photo by Ron Elkman/NHL/Getty Images)