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5 Trades Miami Heat Could Explore For Hassan Whiteside
- Updated: May 15, 2018
The Miami Heat and center Hassan Whiteside seem to be headed for an exit from one another this offseason. Whiteside complained about his playing time during the season multiple times, even getting fined after going on an expletive-laced rant, and recent reports have said that many within the Heat organization want to trade the 29-year-old. After the report came out, Whiteside liked an Instagram post that talked about him being traded.
Here are five possible trades that the Heat could make in order to get rid of the Marshall University product:
The Milwaukee Bucks were reportedly interested in trading for Whiteside around the trade deadline, according to Basketball Insiders’ Steve Kyler. With Whiteside’s trade value reportedly hitting a low, the Bucks might be inclined to revisit a deal for Whiteside.
This deal would save the Heat around $4.5 million in cap space. They would also be getting a true backup point guard in Dellavedova and wouldn’t have to use Tyler Johnson, Josh Richardson, or Dwyane Wade (if he returns) as the primary ballhandlers when Goran Dragic is out of the game. In limited minutes last season, Dellavedova averaged 4.3 points and 3.8 assists per game. He is also a 38.8 percent three-point shooter for his career.
In Henson, the Heat would be acquiring a player who would be a decent backup to Kelly Olynyk, Bam Adebayo or whoever Erik Spoelstra decides to start at center. Last season, Henson averaged 8.8 points, 6.8 rebounds and 1.4 blocks per game.
As for the first-round pick, the year is 2022 because the Bucks still have to convey a pick to the Phoenix Suns. Having an extra first-rounder could prove crucial if the Heat ever decide to try to trade for a star like Kawhi Leonard as it would make any package they offer just a little bit more enticing. The extra pick could also be useful if the Heat go into full rebuild mode.
Back in the summer of 2016, the Dallas Mavericks were interested in Whiteside, meeting with him and offering him the max before he decided to re-sign with the Heat. Now that he’s on the trade block, the Mavericks might be interested again as they haven’t really solved their problem at center.
Matthews has already reportedly exercised his player option for the 2018-19 season, according to Shams Charania of Yahoo! Sports. This season will be the end of his contract, so acquiring an expiring contract would be good for the Heat. They would be saving $6.8 million in cap space and clearing cap for the 2018-19 offseason. Matthews could also be a good rotational player for the Heat. The 31-year-old is a solid three-point shooter (he shot 38.1 percent from three last season) and defender, which would benefit the Heat greatly, especially if the team is not able to keep Wayne Ellington.
Getting a 2018 first-round pick from Dallas is unrealistic as they have the third best odds of getting the first overall pick. There are better chances of acquiring a 2019 or 2020 first-round pick, when the Mavericks could potentially be out of the lottery or in the late lottery.
Talking in December of 2016, Whiteside admitted that the Portland Trail Blazers were his second choice in free agency. Could the Trail Blazers once again be interested in bringing Whiteside to Portland? If they decide to not retain Jusuf Nurkic, they will have a need for a center.
By shipping out Whiteside and taking on Harkless and Leonard, the Heat would save about $4 million in cap space. Acquiring the two would also help the Heat with three-point shooting. Harkless shot 41.5 percent from three last season and also averaged 6.5 points per game. As for Leonard, he shoots 37.3 percent from three for his career.
Portland has made the playoffs for the past five seasons and unless Damian Lillard and/or C.J. McCollum leave, they will continue to make the playoffs. Therefore, this first-round pick won’t fall in the lottery, which may lead to Portland being willing to trade it away.
Last season, the Phoenix Suns had the worst defense in the entire NBA, allowing their opponents to score 113.3 points per game. Whiteside could potentially help solve their defensive problem.
If this deal were to happen, Miami would save only $2.3 million in cap space this offseason. However, the two players they would acquire in this trade, Tyson Chandler and Jared Dudley, have expiring contracts. This would essentially save the Heat $27 million in cap space in 2019, which could help attract big name free agents.
Although Chandler is no longer the player was with the Mavericks or the New York Knicks, he is still capable of coming in and giving good minutes as a backup center. As for Dudley, he adds something the Heat need more of: three-point shooting. For his career, he shoots just under 40 percent from three.
Even with the addition of Whiteside, the Suns might not be a playoff team, so they might be reluctant to send a first-round pick. An early second-round pick in 2019 seems like a more realistic option.
The Los Angeles Lakers might be losing Brook Lopez this offseason as he is a free agent, which could create a big hole for the team at center. They also do not have their own first-round pick and the first-rounder they own (from the Cleveland Cavaliers) likely won’t allow them to select a center good enough to start right away. Trading for Whiteside could be a good move for them.
To make this trade work, the Heat would have to take on the contracts of Deng, who played for the Heat from 2014-16, Zubac and Bryant. In total, this trade would save the Heat about $4.5 million in cap space.
Although Deng only appeared in one game last season, he might be able to provide some decent minutes. Having played with the Heat before, he most likely would not need that much time to adapt to the Heat’s system. Zubac didn’t see the court much last season, but he averaged 14.1 points and 10.8 rebounds per 36 minutes. The Heat could take their time with him and attempt to develop him their way. As for Bryant, he would be more of a filler for the trade. The Heat could decide to develop him, send him to the G League, or just waive him.
As for the second-round pick, it could just be a throw-in. The pick wouldn’t be from the Lakers directly as it would be conveyed to the Heat via the Denver Nuggets. The fact that it isn’t their pick being dealt might convince the Lakers to give it up.