Whiteside will make roughly $25.4MM this season before he gets to deliberate a $27.1MM player option in the summer of 2019, He’s seemed unhappy with his playing time late in the 2017/18 campaign and it’s fair to wonder whether he would be open to a buyout if the team can’t trade his enormous contract. However, even if Miami makes the center miserable by further reducing his playing time, Jackson hears that it’s unlikely Whiteside walks away from the money.
Johnson will take home $19.2MM as part of the four-year pact he signed two summers ago. The Nets had presented the shooting guard with a $50MM offer sheet during the player-friendly 2016 free agent period. The offer spread more than 75% of Johnson’s total salary over the final two years of the deal. Miami surprisingly matched at the time and they’re now facing the first of two $19MM+ salary years.
Jackson adds that Dion Waiters has also been brought up in trade talks. Waiters has three years and approximately $36MM left on his contract.
Miami has no clear path to cap space next summer without moving the aforementioned players. Top names like Kawhi Leonard, Kyrie Irving, Jimmy Butler, and Klay Thompson are expected to hit the market and the team won’t be in a position to make a patented Pat Riley free agency pitch unless it gets creative with its roster.