With Hassan Whiteside having a player option for the final year of his four-year contract, the expectation has been that he would opt in by the end of this month.
However, a new social media post might indicate just the opposite and point to a future destination.
Hassan wants to be a Hornet so bad pic.twitter.com/9VxmOFKugA
— 𝙃𝙀𝘼𝙏 𝙉𝘼𝙏𝙄𝙊𝙉 (@HeatvsHaters) June 7, 2019
In the summer of 2016, Whiteside signed a four-year contract extension with the Heat worth $98 million and will earn just over $27 million this year if he chooses to opt in. Given his uncertain status with the Heat and his declining statistical numbers, that decision was seemingly a given.
Whiteside, who turns 30 on June 13, had his lowest numbers this past season since his first year with the Heat during the 2014-15 campaign. He finished with averages of 12.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game, starting in 53 of his 72 games.
The inconsistent performance of Whiteside led Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra to not use him during fourth-quarter play. In the past, such actions had led the veteran to lash out, though he toned down such antics during the 2018-19 season.
The idea of Whiteside leaving to sign with the Charlotte Hornets isn’t completely far-fetched, considering he grew up in suburban Gastonia. In addition, two years ago, he purchased a home for his mother outside of Charlotte and remains close to her and an autistic brother.
In truth, the Heat would likely welcome Whiteside’s departure, given their frustration with his play and past attempts to trade him having failed, largely because of his steep contract. He has until June 29 to make a final decision.