There have been reports that the Lakers intend to target Hassan Whiteside this offseason, but the big man said that any potential interest from Los Angeles was news to him, Ira Winderman of The Sun Sentinel relays. “They’ve been talking about me and the Lakers?” Whiteside responded when asked about the Lakers’ potential interest. “I didn’t know that.” The big man did add that the Lakers should be familiar with what he can do from his time spent with them prior to the 2014/15 campaign, Winderman adds. “I worked out for the Lakers before I worked out with the Heat,” Whiteside said. “So, I mean, they’ve seen it. They had a chance to see what I could do. I know Byron Scott was there and a couple of other front-office guys.”
Whiteside, who is set to become an unrestricted free agent at season’s end, added that his favorite places to play on the road were New York and L.A., Winderman also relays. “I feel like [Madison Square] Garden and the Staples Center are like the two biggest places to play,” he said. “I feel like those places are just special just because there are so many celebrities and everybody is there.”
Here’s more from South Florida:
- The addition of Joe Johnson has revitalized the player as well as the Heat’s offense, Jeff Zillgitt of USA Today writes. The veteran was looking beyond the 2015/16 season when making his decision, and Johnson envisions himself finishing his career in South Beach, Zillgitt adds. “I’m not looking at the big payday. Been there, done that,” Johnson said. “I just want to be somewhere where I could help contribute and play in meaningful games. That’s what it’s all about. I was looking for some type of security – not necessarily a verbal commitment – but somewhere where I could play and enjoy the game.”
- Amar’e Stoudemire‘s revitalized play and relative good health this season has reinforced his desire to play in the NBA for a few more years, Jason Lieser of The Palm Beach Post writes. The 33-year-old has appeared in 45 games for the Heat this season and is averaging 5.9 points and 4.5 rebounds in 15.0 minutes per contest. Stoudemire will be an unrestricted free agent this summer.
- Heat coach Erik Spoelstra appreciates the maturity that Justise Winslow has shown in his willingness to embrace and earn a role in the rotation rather than relying on his status as a lottery pick to garner minutes, Winderman writes in a separate piece. “You can talk yourself into existence. He doesn’t believe in that. We don’t believe in that,” Spoelstra said. “He’s got a very good head on his shoulders. He has a great approach. He has a veteran approach to the game, and it’s pure. He wants to win. He’s only about winning and getting better every single day.”