NBA Trade News: Miami Heat are in a major dilemma. They wish to retain the services of Hassan Whiteside next season but can’t afford him.
Whiteside warrants a fresh max contract next summer, something Heat won’t be able to offer him, since they don’t have the Bird Rights for the shot-blocking monster. Whiteside, with 3.96 blocks, leads the league in that category and is the frontrunner to win Defensive Player Of The Year.
With Miami Heat’s payroll already packed to the brim, they will need to create cap room by either letting franchise player Dwayne Wade walk or trade other assets.
If Heat trade Whiteside to a team with adequate cap room next summer, they can still get a valuable asset in return. But if they don’t trade Whiteside, they risk losing him next year for nothing. Clearly, it’s a tough spot to be in, considering the impact Whiteside is having on the team.
NBA Trade News: Whiteside, a late bloomer, is making less than a million right now. But his major pay day is coming and Heat might be forced to let another team swoop in.
The Miami Herald explained the situation. “Miami cannot sign him (Whiteside) to an extension now and, unless he’s willing to take a mid-level deal (he won’t be), the Heat will need to use cap space to re-sign him because it doesn’t have Bird Rights on him,” the article noted.
The million-dollar question: How will Miami Heat free up cap space? They already have more than 48 million of guaranteed salaries for the 2016-17 season. Also, they will need to sign Dwayne Wade and Luol Deng to fresh contracts. Both Deng and Wade are unrestricted free agents next year.
A few days ago, Heat President Pat Riley called the Whiteside trade rumors “B.S.” While Riley is determined to hold onto his prized big man, mathematically, he is running out of choices.
Stay tuned to this space for more NBA Trade News.