NBA Rumors: Bad news for Lakers, Knicks Hassan Whiteside top priority for Heat says Pat Riley

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Hassan Whiteside (Photo courtesy: GoldenBryan/Creative Commons)

Teams chasing Hassan Whiteside in free agency has to go against Pat Riley and his mission to retain the star big man as a starter for the Miami Heat. The team president has stated that their priority is to retain Whiteside, who is the top big man in free agency in the 2016 offseason and try to stop NBA rumors of other teams acquiring him this summer.

Whiteside has been linked in NBA rumors to various teams including the Los Angeles Lakers and Dallas Mavericks, among other NBA teams, after the 2015-2016 NBA regular season. Whiteside is expected to demand a max contract to earn his first lucrative contract in his NBA career.

“It’s important that we contact him and make him our priority. Because it isn’t just to attract other free agents. It’s for us to want to win. I want to go with a team that can win and I really believe it’s important for him to be a part of that. When you get to the other part of negotiations, you find out how much he wants to win, too,” the long-time NBA executive and former coach said via My Palm Beach Post.

Earlier in Miami’s offseason, there were reports that the Heat will try to “lowball” Hassan Whiteside and convince him to take a contract lower than the maximum deal. A maximum deal for Whiteside will reach about $23 million per season depending on the salary cap. The move has added to NBA rumors that Whiteside would be willing to sign with other NBA teams.

Teams like the Lakers and Mavericks, and other NBA teams which has salary cap space are expected to try try to steal Whiteside from the Heat because he is an unrestricted free agent.

2016 NBA free agency officially opens on July 1 and Whiteside is expected to sign a contract early in the offseason.

Will Hassan Whiteside be convinced by Riley that the Heat is the best situation for him and his career in winning an NBA title? Or will the Lakers or Mavericks, who are involved in the NBA rumors, sway the defensive big man that a new scenery is better for his career?

Photo courtesy: GoldenBryan/Creative Commons

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