At the end of his podcast last week, ESPN’s Zach Lowe threw out an interesting assessment of which Miami Heat players might be available for trade:
I think the Heat are open for business. Up and down the roster, literally every player. … Literally no one is untouchable, not even Hassan Whiteside, by a long shot.
Saying Miami has had a disappointing season would be an understatement. They have the second worst record at 11-29 and are tied for the most losses in the NBA this season. Last season, the Heat finished tied for third in the East and made the second round of the playoffs, eventually losing to the Toronto Raptors in seven games.
Point guard Goran Dragic, who leads the team in scoring and assists at 19.0 and 6.5 per game respectively, has popped up in trade rumors already. The availability of Hassan Whiteside, however, would be news. The Heat re-signed Whiteside to a 4-year $98 million dollar contract this past off-season. So far this season, the 27-year-old leads the league in rebounding at 14.4 per game and is fifth in blocks while scoring 17.5 points per game and shooting 55.5 percent from the field.
Portland made an effort to sign Whiteside this summer. He ultimately decided to stay in Miami but has described Portland as his “second option.”
Lowe’s report does not mean that Miami is actively shopping Whiteside. On Tuesday several Miami papers reported that the Heat were not looking to trade the 7-foot center, but it does appear that they are listening to offers. Anthony Chiang of the Palm Beach Post wrote that “Whiteside is not available on the trade market, according to a Heat spokesman. The Heat are listening to offers that come its way like most teams, but they aren’t actively shopping their $98 million center.” This report was reiterated by the Miami Herald and South Florida Sun Sentinel.
Miami may be listening to offers, but it would likely take a significant offer to pry Whiteside from the Heat. He was named to the All-Defensive second team last season and is under contract through the 2019–20 season. He still young enough to be a significant part of a rebuild. If Miami isn’t able to get an offer they like they will likely hold onto him and pair him next season with what will probably be a top-5 pick in this year’s draft.
Let us know what you think. What should Portland be willing to give up for Whiteside? Are there any other Heat players you’d like to see the Blazers target?
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