Hassan Whiteside, who is one of the best defensive big men in the league, proved his worth for the Miami Heat this season. But it appears the Florida franchise is not keen in giving him the max contract in 2016 free agency. Could this “lowball” offer from the Heat force the big man to sign with another NBA team this summer with NBA rumors linking him to teams like the Los Angeles Lakers, Dallas Mavericks and Houston Rockets, among other teams.
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat will likely get back Whiteside, who said that he wants to re-sign with the Heat as he likes the lifestyle in Miami and likes the organization headed by team president Pat Riley.
But Jackson also claims that the Heat will try to persuade Whiteside to sign a contract lower than the max contract. This could lead to speculations and NBA rumors that the big man is being lowballed by the Miami management and this could lead him to consider signing with other teams.
“We’ve repeatedly heard the Heat’s preference is persuading him to sign under the max (projected to be $21.6 million next season) by selling him on the lack of state income tax, his comfort level here, the roster flexibility created by him taking a bit less,” Jackson reports in his article.
“But if Miami offers, say, $2 million less per year than max offers elsewhere, what would Whiteside do? That decision hasn’t been made and it won’t be an easy one.”
Whiteside is an unrestricted free agent, which means he can sign with any other NBA team and the Heat won’t have a chance to match the contract offer and lose him in free agency.
The new NBA rumor out of Miami will surely make things more interesting in the Hassan Whiteside free agency. Reports like this will encourage teams like the Lakers and Mavericks, both of which want to steal a free agent from their NBA rivals.