For Hassan Whiteside, this summer’s free agency could include his future tenure with a team that would start next season and rumors are swirling that Whiteside is keen on signing with the Dallas Mavericks than the Miami Heat.
Whiteside has a cap hit of $980,431 and is looking at getting a maximum deal offer from suitors when the free agency opens Friday. The Miami Heat through its president Pat Riley stated that Whiteside alongside Dwyane Wade and Luol Deng are their top priorities for this summer. However, the Heat will have some financial problems if they would be giving Whiteside a maximum deal as they only have until $40 million cap space.
The Heat is also part of the pact that is in pursuit of Kevin Durant as well. Whiteside has already stated that he wants to get over the free agency as quickly as possible. And by the way Whiteside is saying, it looks like the maximum offer as laid out by the Dallas Mavericks is more appealing to him.
The scenario is that the Heat’s meeting with Durant is not until Sunday afternoon and they are asking if Whiteside could wait until then, which looks impossible. Whiteside is an unrestricted free agent and with the Mavericks offering a maximum deal, which means the Heat could very well lose the 27-year old center out of North Carolina.
With roughly $40 million to spend in this year’s free agency, the Heat will struggle to find a suitable center to replace Whiteside, who averages 14.2 points with 11.8 rebounds and 3.7 blocks per game. If they lose grip of Whiteside and fail in their pursuit of Durant, the Heat must have a fallback plan in place as well.
They could try meeting with Dwight Howard or Timofey Mozgov. But if they lose Whiteside, the Heat should press more on their talks with Wade and Deng to keep their chances of having a solid core heading into next season.
The talks in New York between Whiteside and prospective suitors will for surely be an interesting one. As for Whiteside, he just wants best for his future and be over with the free agency as fast as he could.