Miami Heat News: Hassan Whiteside Officially Picks Up $27.1M Player Option

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One of the least surprising storylines of the NBA offseason concluded on Friday when Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside opted into the final year of his four-year contract.

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Whiteside’s four-year deal was signed during the summer of 2016 and is worth a total of $98 million. In the first season of that contract extension, he offered every indication that it would be a wise investment for the Heat. He averaged 17.0 points, a league-high 14.1 rebounds and blocked 2.1 shots per game during the 2016-17 season.

However, since that time, injuries and continued inconsistent play have turned the contract into a burden for the Heat. In the 2017-18 campaign, he was limited to just 54 games and followed that up by ending the final month of this past season as a bench player. For 2018-19, his averages dropped to 12.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per contest.

Those declining numbers for Whiteside, who turned 30 last week, helped put him on the trading block. The chief problem for the Heat in dealing him was his contract, which no team was apparently willing to take on unless the Heat paid a good-sized portion of the amount due.

Despite opting in, Whiteside will continue to be shopped around and may become more valuable as the season progresses. That’s because teams vying for an NBA title may consider adding him for a playoff drive, hoping that he can be inspired to keep delivering double-double performances.

Other than paying the remainder of Whiteside’s contract, the cost for that team figures to be minimal. The Heat’s main desire is to simply rid themselves of a player who was once considered a cornerstone for the their future.
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Brad Sullivan is a freelance writer for, having been an avid fan of NBA basketball for more than four decades. During that time, he's watched the Heat evolve from gestation period to expansion team all the way to three-time NBA champions. He'll follow their quest toward again reaching those lofty heights, and do so by offering some perspective along the way.