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Community Shootaround: Hassan Whiteside

Hassan Whiteside could be the first high-level, unrestricted free agent to come off the board on Friday. That comes from Whiteside himself, who plans to decide during the first 24 hours of free agency where he’ll play next year and beyond.

The 27-year-old center, ranked No. 10 on our Free Agent Power Rankings, will have a host of pursuers and doesn’t feel any sense of loyalty to stay with the Heat. With the big jump in the salary cap and Whiteside entering the prime of his career, it might take a max deal to land the league’s premier shot blocker. Whiteside averaged a double-double last season (14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds) to go along with his 3.7 blocks per game and posted a whopping 25.7 PER.

Miami’s biggest threat for Whiteside’s services might be the Mavericks. They were the victim of DeAndre Jordan‘s last-minute change of heart last July and owner Mark Cuban is still intent on landing a quality center. Whiteside and point guard Mike Conley are reportedly their top free agent targets. With Dwight Howard heading to the free agent market, the Rockets have their eyes on Whiteside.

The Lakers also plan to enter the Whiteside sweepstakes, as league sources recently told ESPN.com’s Marc Stein that Whiteside is a “priority target.” Among the other teams that have been linked to Whiteside are the Celtics, Knicks and Warriors, though Golden State would probably be hesitant to commit to Whiteside before knowing what Kevin Durant will do.

The Heat don’t have a significant advantage to hold off suitors since they only own early Bird rights on him. They’ll have to use cap space to sign him for more than the league average salary and cannot offer a fifth year on his deal. A maximum contract for Whiteside would be a four-year deal approaching $95MM.

It’s an incredible career turnaround for Whiteside, who wasn’t even in the league at the start of the 2014-15 season and only began getting regular playing time after New Year’s Day that season. He’s shown a lack of maturity at times, with several ejections during that 2014-15 season and another this February after being assessed a Flagrant Foul 2. His teammates have questioned his maturity during those instances, and it’s fair to wonder what Whiteside’s motor will be like once he gets his huge contract.

There’s no doubt, though, that Whiteside will become an extremely rich man this summer.

This leads us to our question of the day: Which team will land Heat center Hassan Whiteside in free agency?

Please take to the comments section below to share your thoughts and opinions on the subject. We look forward to what you have to say.

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45 thoughts on “Community Shootaround: Hassan Whiteside

  1. He’s going to be a Maverick!

  2. spazzygrantyjoe

    He’ll go back to Miami think about it the Lakers suck still. Dallas isn’t great his only other real good option is Boston but I believe Miami is a his best option to win and get his money

    • lakersfan27

      Miami is a year or two away from completely bottoming out. They are in the same place the lakers were before they signed Kobe to the last two years. Wade isn’t getting younger, Bosh is probably done, and they don’t have any really intriguing young players that could turn into to their next stars. The lakers have young players with potential and whiteside fits really well in the on their roster.

      • I agree with all of your points except the “they don’t have any really intriguing young players that could turn into to their next stars”. Justice Winslow and Josh Richardson are pretty intriguing young players if you ask me. Winslow has arguably the most potential of all the young guys on the Lakers and Heat rosters because he’s already a good defender. He has the potential to be a two way star if he can develop a good offensive game. Russell can be to, but its easier to become a good offensive player than a good defensive player.

        • lakersfan27

          I’ll give you Winslow but he needs to find a shot. If I’m Whiteside I want wings that can shoot to space the floor and the Lakers have them. Ingram is going to grow into a man body and when he does he is going to be a beast on the perimeter defensively. I also like what a pick and roll game would look like with Russell’s court vision and Whiteside. I just think his game really fits with the lakers talent.

      • spazzygrantyjoe

        I agree that the Lakers are going to be very good at some point. That being said they are still 2 or 3 years away from becoming a strong contender. Does Whiteside want to lose for the first 2 or 3 years of his deal to me it doesn’t make sense for him to do that. His best options are at this point Miami Dallas Boston Portland and Charlotte in that order

  3. Heard Miami is trying to low ball though and they’re waiting on Durant to decide. Whiteside wants to decide ASAP and Dallas has the Max $ on the table

    • Vito P

      Definitely will stay with the Heat

    • lakersfan27

      Dallas isn’t the only team with max money on the table. Lakers could sign him just as easily, and they have players in their early twenties as opposed to well over 30. The lakers have a lot more money to spend so they could add players if he signs.

  4. Thronson5

    Lakers. Doubt it all you want and say they suck and nobody wants to go there but I think he knows they want him and wanted to play there before he went to the Heat.

  5. Dallas or Maimi coming from a DAL fan

    • Miami*

  6. Julian

    He’s leaning Blazers

  7. Miami can’t offer him a max without killing their depth. They have no monetary advantage whatsoever and KD is their prime target again without cap room. I

  8. Blazers

  9. Christian Moreno

    The Dallas Mavericks !! #MFFL #WhitesideToDallas

  10. Joseph Sapoznikov

    I believe in lands in Dallas, where playing with Dirk and Wes Mathews and possibly Conley. Coach Carlise helps make him a better all around player.

    • Blazers so he can become multiple defensive player of the year awards to go with some ‘chips..

  11. Wally-the-green-monster

    Celtics will land Whiteside and then Durant. New big three in Beantown!

  12. Micheal

    Well one he said no state income tax is a factor so that will leave Dallas Miami Portland now Dallas has San Antonio Houston Memphis an Portland an Miami an Orlando on they schedule which clearly will put Dallas as the favorite in no state income tax community will be a second thing that favorite Dallas an the fans an the city of Big D

    • I mean technically Miami and Portland will also play the same teams, just not the same amount of times. Although I get the point you’re trying to make that Dallas would have the most games against teams with no income tax.

  13. Jeremy N

    As a sane person.. his best bet would be to take the equal value of max contract he would have gotten in LA minus the taxes (IE 10% under max) from the Heat… he should then try to help recruit Kevin Durant and try to win titles….. As a heat fan who’s watched Hassan play.. he’s not exactly sane to me. He’s very much an Andrew Bynum type of immature, and once paid (which is all he cares about) he won’t care as much about trying. He proved this to me a few times…. He said loyalty didn’t matter even though the Heat are the ONLY team in the NBA to give him a shot in almost 3 years… he was once asked how he felt after a big game and replied “I hope my 2k rating went up!”… Asked what he would do with money one da he said “Can’t wait to have my own personal chef”… these were all red flags for me. I’m very very conflicted on this kid.

    • I mean the guy has been a bottom-feeder/out of the league guy, can you really blame him for chasing the money?

    • lakersfan27

      He’s talking about having a personal chef and a trainer to invest back into himself as a basketball player. I want my star to say hey with all this money I have coming in I want to use part of it to help take care of myself. Guys like Lebron Kobe and Wade all spend money on stuff like this. It is what helps them stay great for longer periods of time. It is a sign of maturity. He’s earned his payday too, so he has the right to go get what the market will pay him. No should hold that against him. He could blow his knee out and his career could be over at anytime. Pro basketball players have a short window to get paid. Whiteside is 27 this will probably be his only shot at a big pay day he should make it count.

  14. Rick Sparber

    The Blazers are going after him as well. That’s a very good team and coach. He fits them well age wise and with Dame & CJ & him as a rim protector it’s a good fit.

  15. I hope he signs with the Blazers.

  16. bowserhound

    Just want to chime in to say that you are all high.

    Why would anyone want to be on the Mavs at this point or take less to stay with the aging Heat? Boston is plausible but they have 40 draft picks to deal with. Not much to look forward to with any other team in the conversation. Dark-horse here is the Knicks who could steal the offseason from everyone. And I’m a Laker fan.

    • Jeremy N

      The aging heat? haha… the core of the heat is about 25 year old in average age.. and that includes wade. Dragic is 29, Winslow is 20, Richardson is 21 I think, Tyler Johnson, etc etc… the only “old” guys on the Heat are wade, johnson, and luol deng… 2 of those three probably won’t be back. No.. I don’t count Haslem as he’s more of a player/coach now.

      • bowserhound

        + Bosh and those 3 you mentioned…which also takes up more than half your cap room. Good luck with that.
        If a whole unit has 1-2 years max left in them, yeah they are old.

  17. 2 Words: “PAT” “RILEY”

  18. Michael

    He’s going to the lakers or Knicks. His personality screams high market team and he fits in better with youth in LA or expectation in NY. Heat are a dying team with no direction and he knows that

  19. GBUNZY

    Hopefully the HEAT

  20. GBUNZY

    Everybody wants Whiteside. Lakers abd everyone else should have gotten him before HEAT instead of ignoring his calls. Miami needs him. Awesome center. He will get paid regardless. A mill or 2 less here or there ain’t about nothing. We can offer whatever because we don’t need KD. Believe that.

    • eyeballtwo

      Bosh’s health is the key to what happens in Miami the next couple of years. They have the parts to compete at the top level. Heck, this year they lose their top score in February and were a game away from the ECF. And for anyone to compare Wade’s year with ANY of kome’s last 4, is not keeping it real. kome’s attitude is the reason LA didn’t pull any FAs the last half a decade. Believe sportscenter if you want to, but he is/was a piece of ‘work’ as a teammate….but I’m off topic. If Whiteside thinks his success will be determined by the difference between say $70mil and $80mil, he is just as immature as our worst opinion of him. To think that Terry Stotts (who I respect) or any other coach not named Popovich will get more out of Whiteside than SPO, would be very debatable. Stay in Miami big man, remember who gave you your chance. Take a little less million (that just sounds ridiculous to type) and be with a winning team. Nearing the end here, Heat don’t need KD…now, if OKC wants to send the Heat Westbrook, I’ld tell Riles to open Mickey’s checkbook. Winslow/Richardson better than any young blood Lakers have (on the court and off the court)

      • Winslow/Richardson would not nearly be enough. More like Winslow, Richardson, Dragic, plus multiple first round picks in future years.

        • eyeballtwo

          I’m with you JT19. I know it’s not a feasible trade/acquisition, just making the point that Westbrook is the stud on that team, and the last year or two, in my opinion KD’s game has declined a bit.

          • I don’t know if KD’s game declined. I think it’s more that he’s more willing to share the load with Westbrook. Westbrook in the beginning of this decade was just a freakishly athletic point guard. Now, he’s a freakishly atheltic point guard with the ability to contribute on both ends of the floor. I think KD took a slight step down so Westbrook could take a big step up, but again I wouldn’t call it a decline but a splitting of the work.

          • eyeballtwo

            …maybe becoming a better teammate? Still don’t believe in KD’s desire to play defense or post up, two things he should be able to do right now. Has he added ANY muscle to his frame since he came in the league? Does he know where the weight room is? Still trying to bench 135 like Steve Nash? But, you know, that whole defense thing…….The unanimous MVP of the league this year was ABSOLUTELY the target of the Cavs during the championship series, which begs the question: Can you be the MVP and 50% of your game be suspect? Oh, hit me with the NBA steals leader stat, and I’ll say Rubio had one less steal than Curry this year. Is Ricky a quality defender? Oops, slide WAAAAY off topic there. KD is still a top tier player in the league, no doubt. Back to Miami, if Lance Stevenson wouldn’t have been such a blow-hard tool in Indiana, I’ld bring him in to replace Deng. Love the guys motor, but what’s between the ears counts too. What do you think JT, is Bosh playing in a Heat uni next year?

      • lakersfan27

        Winslow/Richardson are better than the lakers core?!?! Winslow shot 27% from three, if he doesn’t find a shot he is just a defense energy guy(Michael Kidd-Gilchrist). You haven’t been able to see what the young lakers can really do yet because the way Scott ran the team last year. He pushed everyone out of the way and let Kobe play iso basketball, and when Kobe was off the floor Scott let Lou Will do the same thing. Not to mention not letting the young guys play through mistakes. At the end of the season when Scott realized he was going to get fired and starting giving the young guys some run you got to see a snap shot of what they could be. Now the lakers add another shooter to space the floor with Russell, a coach who will install a motion offense and they fit really well with Whiteside. Wade’s best years are behind him. You honestly think he’s going to carry a team again in his career? The Heat are going to bottom out here soon because the will and should resign Wade just like the lakers resigned Kobe. The big differance is the lakers have a head start on them in cap room and young talent.

        • eyeballtwo

          More to Winslow’s game than 3pt FG%. And Byron was only doing what the organization and the city of LA wanted him to….let kome take his awkward-no-lift-fade-aways into the sunset. That last game of his was an offense to anyone who has ever competed. Don’t blame Byron, blame kome (as if that would EVER happen). What Scott was doing was trying to help the younger generation understand the preparation and sacrifice needed to be part of a winning team. The fact that Russell or Swaggy P weren’t free to ‘get mines’, should have helped them grow as players. Byron knows how to coach, he was hamstrung by kome. But if adorning a chucker who missed most of the last 4 years with injuries – and still took the highest chunk of payroll of anyone in the league – is worth finishing 56 GAMES OUT OF FIRST PLACE, you got your wish. Damn, I bled purple and gold in the 80’s, but there is a huge difference between routing for Magic and Kareem, and rooting for kome and shaq. An organization run by Riles or an organization run by the throne sitting phil jerkson. AC Green vs Dennis Rodman. HUGE difference! Good luck going forward. Heat aren’t bottoming out – but the Lakers did the last 4 years. 56 games out of first place and you only play 82? WOW!!

          • lakersfan27

            The heat are headed to the same place where the lakers have been. That’s what happens when your stars gets old. Wade is going to want his money(and he should.) The heat are going to pay him and it’s going to kill the team. They might not lose as many games but that will only happen because they play in the east.
            I am fine with Kobe getting his money I got to watch him bring 5 chips to LA. He spent 20 years in purple and gold. Our young guys will develop and the lakers will be back in the mix soon enough.

          • eyeballtwo

            1 – You don’t win NBA championships with ‘young’ guys – Cavs/Warriors/Spurs/Heat – check their rosters, mostly vets. 2 – Wade isn’t an egotistical rear end that kome is, and can think in terms of team, not solely self. 3 – Pat Riley won’t allow his organization to be ham-strung by an over the hill, over-paid selfish vet who needs a whole year to say good-bye. (Pop won’t do that to the Spurs when 5-ring Tim Duncan retires either). This is the same idiotic stance that people had watching his errorness bring down the Wizards for a couple of years. It’s a team sport, regardless of how ESPN wants to market it.

  21. What about the Blazers? Whiteside has been linked with them on much shorter lists than the one you offer.

    • lakersfan27

      Whiteside fits with the Blazers young core and it probably makes more sense than the lakers do right now just because their younger guys have been able to establish them selves already. I see him signing there. Whiteside going there makes a whole lot more sense than the heat or the mavs. If they do sign him I hope the lakers are smart enough to move in on Crabbe.

      • eyeballtwo

        Well, Suge Freakin’ Night!!

        Whiteside to stay with Riley and the Heat. Who knew?

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