The Miami Heat continue to struggle in the 2016-17 NBA season after losing all their “Big Three” in the recent offseason. The latest NBA rumor claimed that Hassan Whiteside is on the trading block and the Heat plan to rebuild the team.
In the recent free agency, the Heat decided to make Whiteside their main priority, resulting for Dwyane Wade to leave and join the Chicago Bulls. Despite Whiteside’s incredible performance every game, the Heat still end up as one of the worst teams in the league. President Pat Riley revealed his plan to rebuild the team to immediately return to title contention.
Goran Dragic has been mentioned in various trade rumors in the past months. In his Podcast on ESPN, Zach Lowe revealed that no one is safe from being traded, not even the Heat’s franchise player Hassan Whiteside.
“Up and down the roster, literally every player,” said Lowe towards the end of his latest podcast. “Literally no one is untouchable, not even Hassan Whiteside, by a long shot.”
Here are the four teams who are expected to trade for Hassan Whiteside:
LOS ANGELES LAKERS
Aside from Kevin Durant, Whiteside became one of the top free agency targets of the Lakers. They headed into the recent offseason looking for a quality center to replace Roy Hibbert. Unfortunately, the Lakers failed to even have an appointment and targeted Timofey Mozgov.
The Lakers have a plethora of trade assets the Heat need to rebuild the team. Whiteside’s four-year, $98 million contract looks enticing for the Lakers as well. Since Kobe Bryant retired, they continue to find his replacement. Whiteside will undeniably be a great fit for the role.
PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS
The Portland Trail Blazers need to boost their frontcourt to strengthen their chance in contending for the title this season. Whiteside almost became a Trail Blazer in the recent free agency, as he told Erik Gundersen of Miami Herald.
“Portland was my second option,” Whiteside said. “I would have came here.”
The Trail Blazers are one of the worst defensive teams in the league. They rank 28th in NBA’s defensive efficiency, allowing 109.4 points per 100 possessions. Adding a quality rim protector like Whiteside will undeniably boost their defense.
The Boston Celtics prove to be an ideal trade partner for the Heat. They have plenty of trade assets, including the Brooklyn Nets’ picks. Since acquiring Al Horford, the Celtics continue to be active on the trade market, looking for another big man.
Acquiring Hassan Whiteside lets Horford slide to power forward, his natural position. The Celtics eye to dethrone the Cleveland Cavaliers in the Eastern Conference this season. However, with the Cavaliers continuously upgrading their roster, the Celtics should start making a move.
NEW YORK KNICKS
The New York Knicks tried to improve their defense by acquiring former Defensive Player of the Year, Joakim Noah, in the recent free agency. However, they’re still one of the worst defensive teams in the league. The Knicks rank 26th in NBA’s defensive efficiency, allowing 108.4 points per 100 possessions.
The Knicks are currently 17-21 in the 11th spot in the Eastern Conference. If they’re serious about contending for the title, the Knicks should consider improving their roster. Trading for Hassan Whiteside will make them a real “Super Team”.
Compared to Noah, Whiteside is undeniably the better big man on both ends of the floor. However, the problem is the Knicks don’t have enough assets. The Heat are expected to demand a huge return to let the star center go.
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