Hassan Whiteside

Heat Rumors: Whiteside, Winslow, Wade, Haslem

The Heat, one of two teams that entered Thursday’s draft without a pick in either round, explored the possibility of trading into the draft. However, team president Pat Riley told reporters late last night that the team didn’t feel it made sense to pay the asking price for a second-round selection.

“Every second-round pick cost two second-round picks or a future second-round pick and cash,” Riley said, per Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald (Twitter link).

Although the Heat didn’t make any moves on draft night, Riley said the club has engaged in a “lot of discussion with a lot of teams about a lot of players,” according to Ira Winderman of The South Florida Sun Sentinel (Twitter link). Riley also discussed several other offseason topics during his session with the media, so we’ll round up the highlights below, via Winderman:

  • According to Riley, the Heat have yet to offer Hassan Whiteside to any teams in trade talks. “I expect a lot of out Hassan, contrary to what people might think about us trading him,” Riley said. “We haven’t offered him to anybody, really, to be honest with you. So you go through an emotional period with a player and you deal with it and you come back and you work things out.” Of course, Riley’s comments could reflect a lack of a market for the veteran center.
  • Riley denied that Justise Winslow was offered in trades leading up to the draft. However, Winslow is believed to be available in the right deal.
  • Riley confirmed that the Heat will try to find a way to keep Wayne Ellington, though he acknowledged potential luxury-tax concerns, hinting that Miami likely wouldn’t be able to match an aggressive offer from another team.
  • The Heat don’t know yet whether Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem want to continue their respective careers, but they’d be welcomed back if they want to return to the Heat. “They’ve been together forever and they also deserve the respect to sit and wait on this thing. And so there’s no rush,” Riley said.
  • Given the Heat’s lack of cap room, Riley isn’t necessarily expecting an action-packed offseason for the club. “I don’t know if there are going to be any midnight meetings (at the start of free agency),” Riley said (Twitter link). “Not this year.”
  • Dion Waiters continues to recover from ankle surgery, but the Heat are hoping that he’ll be ready for training camp, says Riley.

Heat Rumors: Whiteside, Dragic, Winslow

While the Heat will explore trade scenarios involving Hassan Whiteside this offseason, a source in touch with the club’s front office said the odds of a deal are “considered 50-50 at best,” and are perhaps lower than that, writes Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. As such, Miami is preparing for the possibility of bringing back Whiteside next season.

According to Jackson, the Heat are committed to ensuring that Whiteside and head coach Erik Spoelstra are on the same page in the vent that no trade can be made. That process has already gotten underway, Jackson says, though he acknowledges that Whiteside, Spolestra, and team president Pat Riley haven’t met for a “collective summit” yet.

For his part, Whiteside hasn’t requested a trade and is open to making things work in Miami, one NBA friend of Whiteside tells Jackson. Per the Herald’s report, the veteran center does want a larger role, but any disagreement with Spoelstra is professional rather than personal.

Here’s more on the Heat from Jackson:

  • Jackson offers up one hypothetical trade scenario involving Whiteside and the Bucks, suggesting that the inclusion of John Henson and Matthew Dellavedova could make it work. However, he cautions that there are no indications the two teams have discussed such a deal or that they’d both be interested — the Heat don’t want to move Whiteside simply for bad contracts.
  • While no one on the Heat’s roster is untouchable, the team has “no appetite” to move Goran Dragic, says Jackson. Miami would also like to hang onto Justise Winslow, but recognizes that he may need to be included in a potential package for a high-end player.
  • Which “high-end” player might the Heat make a run at this summer? Jackson names Kawhi Leonard, DeMarcus Cousins, and even DeMar DeRozan as possibilities.
  • Briefly circling back to the 2017 free agent period, Jackson writes that the Heat committed four years and $60MM to James Johnson due to concerns that the Nuggets or Jazz would swoop in to sign him.

And-Ones: NBA Africa Game, Global Camp, Upshaw

Raptors guard DeMar DeRozan and Sixers center Joel Embiid will headline the rosters in this summer’s NBA Africa Game, the league announced today. The event, which will take place on Saturday, August 4 in Pretoria, South Africa, will feature a Team Africa vs. Team World format, with Cameroon native Embiid heading Team Africa and DeRozan representing Team World.

Joining Embiid on Team Africa will be fellow NBAers Al-Farouq Aminu, Bismack Biyombo, Cheick Diallo, Evan Fournier, Serge Ibaka, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, and Pascal Siakam. DeRozan’s teamates on Team World will include Harrison Barnes, Danilo Gallinari, Rudy Gay, Khris Middleton, and Hassan Whiteside.

Here are a few more odds and ends from across the basketball world:

  • A total of 40 draft-eligible prospects from outside the United States will take part in the NBA Global Camp 2018 in Treviso, Italy from June 2-5, the NBA announced on Wednesday. While Luka Doncic won’t attend the pre-draft showcase, there will be plenty of prospects worth watching, including Cedevita forward Dzanan Musa, who is the No. 19 prospect on Jonathan Givony’s big board at ESPN.com.
  • The mother of Zeke Upshaw, the G League player who passed away earlier this year after collapsing during a Grand Rapids Drive game, has filed a federal lawsuit accusing the NBA and the Pistons of negligence. The suit alleges that the defendants failed to provide the Drive with the “the resources, policies, and procedures reasonably necessary” to prevent or handle Upshaw’s collapse. Noah Trister of The Associated Press has the full story and more details.
  • Now that two-way contracts have been in effect for nearly a full year, Adam Johnson of 2 Ways & 10 Days explores what sort of changes we may see to the rules surrounding those contracts in the future.

Southeast Rumors: Thomas, Nored, Whiteside, Hawks

Free agent point guard Isaiah Thomas would be a good fit for the Heat but they probably don’t have the salary-cap space to sign him, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel speculates. Thomas’ ability to score in bunches would boost a team prone to scoring droughts, Winderman continues. But it’s doubtful that a former All-Star coming off an injury-marred season would take a short-term deal, Winderman notes, as the Lakers guard is more likely to pursue what could be his last significant contract.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets will hire Ronald Nored as an assistant coach on James Borrego‘s staff, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweets. Nored served as the Nets’ G-League head coach this past season.
  • Pat Riley‘s silence over the Hassan Whiteside situation in recent weeks suggests a trade is more likely than reconciliation, Winderman opines in another blog. Though Winderman believes Whiteside and coach Erik Spoelstra would like to find some middle ground, a separation appears to be in order despite the issue of Whiteside’s contract, which has two years and over $52MM remaining. Whiteside was disappointed with his reduced playing time.
  • The Hawks will bring in six prospects for a workout on Tuesday, according to a team press release. That group includes  Carsen Edwards (Purdue), Kyran Bowman (Boston College), Dorian Pickens (Stanford), Kerem Kanter (Xavier), Tremont Waters (LSU) and Kenrich Williams (TCU).

Hornets Notes: Walker, Whiteside, Draft, Salary Cap

The lack of teams with cap space and a weak crop of free agent point guards could work to the Hornets’ advantage if they decide to trade Kemba Walker, writes Rick Bonnell of The Charlotte Observer. That’s the assessment of ESPN’s Bobby Marks, a former executive with the Nets, who thinks Walker will reach his peak trade value this summer. Walker has one year left on his contract, and Marks states that teams would rather pick up a player in the offseason rather than close to the trade deadline.

Addressing trade rumors during the season, team owner Michael Jordan said he would only consider moving Walker if it meant getting an All-Star in return. Marks considers that unrealistic, saying a lottery pick is likely the best the Hornets can hope for. The franchise is near the tax threshold and would like to unload one of its expensive contracts in any Walker deal, but Marks says that will only happen if Walker’s new team gets assurances he will re-sign.

There’s more today from Charlotte:

  • Hassan Whiteside would help the Hornets get younger at center, but his contract woudn’t make him a wise pickup, Bonnell cautions in a separate piece. Whiteside clashed with Heat coach Erik Spoelstra this season over reduced playing time, and there are indications out of Miami that the team would like to deal him. Charlotte has Dwight Howard signed for one more year at $23.8MM, while Whiteside is owed $25.4MM next season with a $27MM player option for 2019/20. Bonnell doubts the investment in Whiteside would be worth it, considering the NBA is trending away from traditional low-post centers.
  • In another story, Bonnell analyzes the Hornets’ draft prospects and takes a look at new GM Mitch Kupchak’s drafting history. Bonnell identifies a top eight of DeAndre Ayton, Luka Doncic, Marvin Bagley III, Jaren Jackson Jr., Mo Bamba, Michael Porter, Wendell Carter and Trae Young, and states that anyone else has a reasonable chance of being available when Charlotte picks at No. 11.
  • This year’s extended playoffs, which feature a seventh game in both conference finals for the first time since 1979, will provide the NBA with extra revenue that will affect next year’s salary cap, Bonnell tweets. That should raise the $101MM cap projection at least slightly and benefit cash-strapped teams like the Hornets, who already have $117.9MM in committed salary for next season.

Hornets Rumors: Walker, Quinter, Whiteside, Workouts

A lottery pick and a young player would be a reasonable return in any trade involving Kemba Walker, according to Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. In consultation with ESPN’s Bobby Marks, Bonnell takes an in-depth look into the possibility of trading Walker, who has a year remaining on his contract. All-Star caliber point guards are highly valued but any suitor would want to feel they could re-sign Walker. The Hornets could package a bad contract with Walker but only if he committed to re-signing with his new team, Bonnell adds.

In other developments involving the Hornets:

  • The Hornets have parted ways with director of pro personnel Todd Quinter, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Changes are being made in the Charlotte organization with recently-hired Mitch Kupchak running the front office. Quinter is one of the league’s most seasoned scouts, Stein notes.
  • It wouldn’t make sense for the Hornets to pursue Heat center Hassan Whiteside in a trade, Bonnell opines in a separate story. The Hornets already have an older version of Whiteside in Dwight Howard and don’t need to saddle their payroll by adding Whiteside’s contract, which has two years and $52.4MM remaining, Bonnell continues. The Hornets would be better off moving forward next summer after Howard’s contract expires, Bonnel adds.
  • Charlotte is bringing in six draft prospects on Friday: Guards Connor Burchfield (William & Mary), Jon Davis (Charlotte), Lexus Williams (Boise State) and Ray Ona Embo (Tulane); forward Marcanvis Hymon (Ole Miss); and center Bakary Konate (Minnesota).

Latest On Hassan Whiteside, Heat

After expressing frustration with his role during – and after – the postseason, Hassan Whiteside doesn’t appear to be any closer to mending fences with the Heat. As Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald relays, Whiteside posted an Instagram video this week in which he suggested that the franchise doesn’t allow him to take perimeter shots.

“There’s a difference between ‘You can’t shoot’ and ‘You’re not allowed [to shoot],'” Whiteside said in the video after knocking down a jumper.

According to Jackson, the latest video marks at least the fifth time within the last few months that Whiteside has complained or expressed dissatisfaction about how the Heat handles him. That dissatisfaction is one factor contributing to a “strong sentiment” within the Heat organization that the team should move on from the veteran center, Jackson reports.

Miami is expected to explore deals involving Whiteside during the coming offseason, sources tell Jackson. Still, a favorable trade scenario may be hard to find, given the 28-year-old’s pricey contract. Whiteside is owed $25.43MM in 2018/19 and has a player option worth $27.09MM for 2019/20.

Ironically, a reliable outside jumper would actually increase Whiteside’s value, since his lack of offensive versatility was a main reason why his minutes were dialed back this season. Introducing an ability to stretch the floor to his game wouldn’t solve all Whiteside’s problems, but it would be a good start — if the Heat didn’t want him attempting outside shots, they likely felt those shots weren’t high-percentage enough to be worthwhile.

While Whiteside will enter the summer as a trade candidate, he’ll hardly be the only player on Miami’s roster who fits that bill. In his end-of-season conversation with reporters, Heat president Pat Riley indicated that no one on the roster will be untouchable.

Heat Notes: Whiteside, Riley, Winslow, Dragic

The Pelicans may be a team to watch as the Heat try to trade Hassan Whiteside this summer, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald. After DeMarcus Cousins‘ Achilles injury, New Orleans is having second thoughts about offering him a max contract covering five years, preferring a two- or three-year deal at a reduced amount. If that impasse can’t be resolved, Jackson proposes a sign-and-trade involving Whiteside and other players, possibly including Justise Winslow.

Jackson, who notes that there’s strong support in the Miami front office to move on from Whiteside, examines a few other options, stating that the Trail Blazers and Mavericks planned to contact Whiteside when he was a free agent two years ago, but may be less interested now.

Another consideration is whether the Heat want to open up cap room for 2019 by trading Whiteside, who has two seasons and $52MM left on his contract, for an expiring deal. Jackson adds that Miami has to unload Whiteside and at least one more significant salary to be able to compete for a stellar free agent class.

There’s more tonight from Miami:

  • If the Heat can’t find a trading partner for Whiteside, team president Pat Riley indicated he will intervene in any future disputes between his center and coach Erik Spoelstra, Jackson adds in the same story. Riley also stated that Whiteside will need to adjust his game to fit the modern style. “You’ve got these quintessential sort of centers that are being forced to play a certain game because the game has changed and there’s only one or two or three teams that can play that game,” Riley said, “because three or four transformative players can make that game effective. So, how do we make him effective?”
  • Among the Heat’s many offseason decisions is whether to offer an extension to Winslow or let him become a restricted free agent in 2019, writes Ira Winderman of The Sun-Sentinel. After missing most of 2016/17 after shoulder surgery, Winslow bounced back with a solid year, playing 68 games and putting together a strong showing in the playoffs. “I’m in a much better state mentally than I was a year ago,” he said. “But none of these things are easy, dealing with stuff throughout this year, just the mental aspect of the NBA is tough and you’ve seen a lot of guys speaking out about it.”
  • Although no one on the Heat roster is guaranteed to be with the team in the fall, point guard Goran Dragic told Riley that he definitely wants to stay in Miami, relays the Associated Press“This is where I want to be,” said Dragic, who has another season left on his contract, plus an option year. “Everything here, it’s the way I want it.”

Southeast Notes: Larranaga, Anthony, Whiteside, Weltman

Celtics assistant Jay Larranaga is on the Hawks’ radar in their search for a head coach, Sam Amico of Amico Hoops reports. Larranaga has been an assistant with the Celtics since 2012 after being a head coach in the G League. The son of college coach Jim Larranaga has also coached in Ireland. The younger Larranaga is also on the long list of candidates for the Knicks’ coaching vacancy, Amico adds.

In other developments around the Southeast Division:

  • Trading for disgruntled Thunder forward Carmelo Anthony wouldn’t make any sense for the Heat, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel argues. Miami already has a better defensive power forward in James Johnson and Anthony has already indicated he doesn’t want to come off the bench, Winderman continues. Anthony’s expiring contract wouldn’t give the Heat notable cap relief in 2019 because of the salary commitments they already have, Winderman adds.
  • Those salary commitments are also why it’s unlikely the Heat will deal Hassan Whiteside for an expiring contract or two, Winderman writes in a separate blog. In essence, they’d simply be giving away their center for nothing if they chose that route, Winderman continues. Whiteside has two years and $52.5MM remaining on his $98MM deal. The Bucks, Trail Blazers and Mavericks are among the potential landing spots for Whiteside if a trade goes through, according to Bryan Kalbrosky of Hoops Hype.
  • Magic president of basketball operations Jeff Weltman will have final say in the head coaching hire, Josh Robbins of the Orlando Sentinel reports. Orlando is searching for a coach after firing Frank Vogel. “If you’re asking do I have autonomy to do this job, I can tell you simply that I would not have come here had I not,” Weltman told Robbins.
  • The Hornets’ coaching search could get complicated if they chose to pursue former Hawks coach Mike Budenholzer, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer notes. Reuniting Budenholzer with center Dwight Howard wouldn’t be a good idea, given how their relationship deteriorated in Atlanta, Bonnell adds.

Pat Riley Talks Roster, Whiteside, Wade, Ellington

Addressing reporters at his end-of-season press conference on Monday, Heat president Pat Riley said he and the team’s front office will continue to work on improving the roster this summer, adding that he’d not bothered by a relative lack of cap flexibility heading into the offseason.

“We’re not going to stop and it doesn’t make any difference how we do it,” Riley said, per Manny Navarro of The Miami Herald. “Whether you’re a room team, whether you’re capped out, whether you’ve got a lot of guys under contract, whether you’re limited with your picks, you keep working toward your goal. That’s what we’re going to do. How we’re going to do it is irrelevant.”

While Riley said the Heat would like to keep their “core guys” together and give that group more help, he acknowledged that he’ll be open to virtually any avenue that could make the team better, confirming that no one on the roster is untouchable.

“Right now we have a bunch of guys that can still get better,” Riley said. “While internal improvement and development is a huge part of our organization, going outside and looking around, now is the opportunity to have those conversations — trying to find a transformative player, maybe, is probably what our challenge is going to be.”

Here’s more from Riley on the Heat, via Navarro and Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald:

  • Riley stated that Hassan Whiteside had “a bad year” in 2017/18, but he believes in the young center’s ability to bounce back next season, suggesting that Whiteside and head coach Erik Spoelstra need to get on the same page for that to happen. “I still think and believe Hassan can anchor in spite of what a lot of people believe,” Riley said.
  • Riley recently spoke to Dwyane Wade, but didn’t broach the subject of retirement. “I don’t like to talk to a player about retirement because when start talking to a player about retirement, guess what? He retires,” Riley said. “So I don’t want to talk to he or UD (Udonis Haslem) about retirement because I think both players are still in great shape. They both can play.”
  • There’s “no doubt” that the Heat want to re-sign Wayne Ellington, according to Riley. However, the team president admitted that it’ll be tricky to do so without going into tax territory. “If we signed Wayne, OK, next year and he takes us into the tax, then that guy right over there (GM Andy Elisburg) has 15 months to get us out,” Riley said.
  • Riley isn’t bothered by not having a first-round pick in this year’s draft, noting that he’s “not a draft pick guy” and feels like the Heat only really need a first-rounder once every two years. “We hope one of the guys we really like that we can sign on July 1 might be tantamount to a first-round pick this year,” Riley said. He also observed that when Miami can acquire a player like Goran Dragic using mid-first-rounders like this year’s (No. 16 overall), he’d “much rather have” the Dragic-type veteran than the rookie.