Since the Miami Heat can’t make any big signings this offseason due to a lack of cap space, most of the roster is expected to return next season.
However, it appears that center Hassan Whiteside will consider opting out of player option this summer.
“I’m definitely going to weigh my options,” said Whiteside, who is the Heat’s highest-paid player and faces a late June deadline to decide whether to exercise the opt out. “It’s definitely a decision I got to make and do the best for me. I feel like if I’m playing, I’m going to produce so it will take care of itself.”
Whiteside, 29, has been a core member of the Heat for five seasons. However, after signing a massive four-year, $98 million contract with Heat in the summer of 2016, the big man has seen his minutes decrease over the years.
As a matter of fact, Whiteside has played the lowest minutes of his Heat tenure this season.
“I don’t think I’m a 20-minute guy,” Whiteside said. “I average what, 20 minutes? So I think I can play more and I can do more. So I definitely think what I bring to the game is at a high level for my position. You know, I led the league in categories that you would want a big man to lead the league in. I feel like I can keep doing that.”
One year after signing the lucrative deal, the 7-footer put up a career-high 17.0 points and 14.1 rebounds in 32.6 minutes per game during the 2016-17 season. Yet, while the career year looked encouraging, changes to the NBA’s style of play and a lack of adjustment from Whiteside left him with a minimized role.
In 72 games this season, the veteran has put up a disappointing 12.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game.
Although Whiteside may consider departing Miami, there’s no indication other teams would want the hot-headed center. In addition to his lack of effectiveness in today’s game, Whiteside has had multiple immaturity issues, which have resulted in suspensions, team drama and trade rumors.
The Heat take on the Brooklyn Nets on Wednesday night.