Hassan Whiteside won’t enter free agency this offseason, however, it appears he wants to leave the Heat.
The 30-year-old center is expected to opt into the final year of his contract with Miami, which is worth about $27.1 million, according to multiple reports. But, “there is a growing belief” Whiteside will ask the team to move him this summer, according to The Associated Press.
There is a growing belief that when Hassan Whiteside picks up his Heat option for next season, he’ll do so while asking for a trade. (Also, I don’t think this should surprise anyone. It’s no secret that he wants a different role.)
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) June 18, 2019
“I’m definitely going to weigh my options,” Whiteside said in April, via the Miami Herald. “It’s definitely a decision I got to make and do the best for me. I feel like if I’m playing, I’m going to produce so it will take care of itself.”
Whiteside averaged 12.3 points and 11.3 rebounds in 72 games last season. Yet, he played just 23.3 minutes per appearance and was unhappy with his role.
“I don’t think I’m a 20-minute guy,” Whiteside said in April. “I average what, 20 minutes? So I think I can play more and I can do more. So I definitely think what I bring to the game is at a high level for my position. You know, I led the league in categories that you would want a big man to lead the league in. I feel like I can keep doing that.”
Miami selected center Bam Adebayo in the first round of the 2017 draft and he has cut into Whiteside’s playing time over the last two seasons.
Heat president Pat Riley said after 2018-19 he’d like to see Whiteside and Adebayo share the court more.
“I know (Miami coach) Erik (Spoelstra) and I know he’s going to look into every possibility because he knows both are athletic, great rim protectors, both great lob guys and somehow he has to figure out how that can become an effective tandem,” Riley said at the time. “I can give him some help on that.”
The Heat finished 2018-19 with a 39-43 record and missed the playoffs for a third time in five seasons.