NBA trade news: Best deal Miami can get in trading Hassan Whiteside

By @hoopsdontstop30 on
Hassan Whiteside
The Miami Heat may consider trading Hassan Whiteside before the deadline, according to the latest NBA trade rumours. Reuters/Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports

As the NBA trade deadline nears, the Miami Heat is running out of time to decide whether it keeps or deals Hassan Whiteside, whose name remains active in trade talks.

The Heat has declined to talk about any trade deals involving Whiteside, but there is belief that Miami would not be able to retain the soon-to-be free agent big man, who arguably earned himself a max contract come free agency because of his incredible talent. According to ESPN’s Brian Windhorst, who was quoted by Real GM earlier this month, Whiteside is not going to be a Heat player next season, with the team not owning his Bird Rights.

"This is a guy who is going to get a max contract in the summer. And he's absolutely not a Heat player," said Windhorst on Zach Lowe's podcast. "His style of play, his personality, the way he goes about his business is not congruent with the way the Heat normally go about themselves.”

Moreover, the Heat has plenty of expiring contracts in its roster that need to be addressed this summer, as noted by Tom West of Sports Illustrated’s Fansided. The three-time NBA champs are already tied up with Chris Bosh and Goran Dragic, who are set to make $23 million and $15.8 million next season respectively. Dwyane Wade, who also becomes a free agent this summer, would also require a huge deal if the Heat wants him to stay in South Beach.

Considering all of these factors, the Heat would probably explore trading Whiteside this season rather than lose him in free agency without anything in exchange. However, Whiteside’s Bird Rights remain a problem for any team who plans to trade for him, although the shot-blocking centre would be an instant boost for teams contending for a playoff spot.

There are plenty of trade scenarios for the Heat if they package Whiteside with one or two of the team’s tradable assets. But one of the most ideal trade deals the Heat could get is trading Whiteside to the New Orleans Pelicans for Ryan Anderson.

Zach Lowe discussed with Windhorst in his podcast the Lowe Post that the Heat chasing after Anderson is a possibility when looking at Miami’s situation with Whiteside.

“The reason that that would appeal to the Heat would be that Ryan Anderson is on an ending contract and maybe he floor spaces with you, and you just have Bosh to play center, and then you don’t affect your salary cap and Pat Riley’s dreams of making another move,” Windhorst said. “If you’re the Pelicans you have an Anthony Davis-Hassan Whiteside rim protection machine.”

However, the Pelicans already have a heavy frontcourt lineup in Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca, although these two could not make an impact the same way Whiteside does for the Heat. If New Orleans decide to sign Whiteside for a max contract, the cap room may also be a problem for the Pelicans, who are expected to be a team with the 10th highest salary in the NBA next season.

The Heat would probably include Luol Deng or Chris Andersen’s expiring contract if such a deal materialises, giving the Pels a bit of flexibility to sign other free agents this summer. In ESPN’s trade machine, a deal involving Deng and Whiteside for Anderson works, but NOP may also consider unloading expiring contracts of their own.

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