The Trail Blazers continue to load up, reportedly acquiring Hassan Whiteside in a trade with the Heat.
ESPN first reported Portland would send Moe Harkless and Meyers Leonard to Miami in exchange for the veteran big man, a deal that clears salary cap space for the Heat while cementing the Blazers’ status as a team on the rise in the Western Conference.
The move comes a day after Rodney Hood reportedly agreed to stay in Portland on a new two-year, $16 million deal, and a week after the Blazers acquired Kent Bazemore from Atlanta for Evan Turner on the heels of selecting Nassir Little in the NBA Draft.
In an offseason of change in the West, with the Warriors losing a pair of key players in Kevin Durant and Andre Iguodala (while landing D’Angelo Russell), Portland is making moves to dethrone the team that has represented the Western Conference in the last five NBA Finals, winning three of them.
Whiteside, 30, spent the last five seasons in Miami, averaging double digits in rebounds every season and leading the NBA with 14.1 per game in 2016-17. He led the league in blocked shots the year before that at 3.7 per game and remains a consistent scoring presence in the paint as well, at 12.3 points per game last year.
Harkless averaged 7.7 points per game and Leonard 5.9 points for Portland last season.