3:36am: Whiteside is expected to make his decision in the morning, tweets Tim Reynolds.
2:53am: The Heat and Mavericks both had the opportunity to make pitches to Hassan Whiteside in the early hours of free agency, and the free agent big man left both meetings without an agreement in place, according to Shams Charania of The Vertical and Marc Stein of ESPN.com (Twitter links).
Still, after a Thursday report indicated that the Mavericks appeared to be the frontrunners for Whiteside, the Heat picked up some momentum with their meeting today, according to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, who suggests (via Twitter) that Miami regained equal footing with Dallas. Reading between the lines, I wonder if that means the Heat expressed a willingness to offer Whiteside a maximum-salary contract.
Heading into Friday morning’s meetings, Ken Berger of CBSSports.com (Twitter link) had reported that members of Whiteside’s inner circle didn’t believe the Heat were on the outside looking in, giving them a real chance of signing the young center. Meanwhile, Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press tweeted that Whiteside told at least one of his Miami teammates earlier in the week that he’d be returning to the Heat.
A meeting with the Trail Blazers is also reportedly on Whiteside’s schedule for Friday, though for now it looks like the Heat and Mavericks are the strong frontrunners for his services.