NBA Rumors: Lakers target Hassan Whiteside; Center wants to re-sign with Miami?

NBA Rumors: Lakers target Hassan Whiteside; Center wants to re-sign with Miami?

Hassan Whiteside is expected to draw huge interest in the upcoming free agency after having an outstanding season with the Miami Heat.

The Los Angeles Lakers are pursuing him, as they require a talented, young center like Whiteside. He posted career-high averages of 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds, and 3.5 blocks per game. Miami Heat doesn’t have his Bird Rights, that’s why the franchise is trying to convince the center to accept a contract less than the max amount. The team also needs to pay star guard Dwyane Wade. So, in this situation, the Lakers or any other team can land Whiteside with a max offer.

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But Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald wrote that Whiteside doesn’t want to leave Miami Heat.

“My understanding, reiterated in recent days, is if all things are equal financially, Whiteside wants to re-sign with Miami. He likes living here and likes the organization.” Jackson wrote. if Miami matches the offer of the highest bidder to retain their top class performer, the Lakers won’t get the center.

Whiteside has also revealed this spring that he doesn’t want to be a face of a losing franchise.

“You want to win more than anything. I don’t really want to be the face of a losing franchise.” The center said.

Whiteside’s max projected salary is $21.6 million. Moreover, Miami can offer 7.5 percent annual raises on the first year’s salary, compared with 4.5 percent elsewhere. So if the franchise offers a four-year-deal starting at $20.7 million, that equals a contract of $21.6 million as first year salary offered by any team.

There are high chances of Hassan Whiteside re-signing with the Miami Heat this summer.

Photo courtesy: GoldenBryan/Creative Commons