Whiteside was traded to Portland on Monday in exchange for Moe Harkless and Meyers Leonard, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. Heading into free agency, Whiteside opted into his $27.1 million player option, but the Heat will send him to Portland, where he'll likely slide in as the starting center while Jusuf Nurkic recovers from a serious lower-leg injury. Whiteside's fantasy value has been all on a gradual decline over the last three seasons, but it's mostly been due to dwindling opportunity. Last season, Whiteside averaged just 23.3 minutes per contest but still managed to post 12.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game.
Whiteside has exercised his $27.1 million player option, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reports. As expected, Whiteside will guarantee himself $27.1 million rather than test the open market. Toward the end of last season, he lost his starting spot to Bam Adebayo, and Whiteside ultimately averaged 12.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks across 23.3 minutes. It would be surprising to seem him garner a bigger role with the Heat next season.
Whiteside is expected to opt into the final year of his contract with the Heat, the Miami Herald reports. Whiteside is due to make more than $27 million next season, so the decision is close to a no-brainer, from his perspective, though his expected return to the Heat will once again bring questions about his role. The big man lost his starting spot to Bam Adebayo down the stretch last season, and he subsequently expressed his concern over his workload. "I don't think I'm a 20-minute guy," Whiteside said back 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." Going forward, Whiteside will be a part of Miami's regular rotation, though it's unclear if he'll have a chance to reclaim his starting center spot. It's also quite possible the Heat try to move Whiteside at some point, as his expiring status makes his salary more palatable for another team to take on.
Whiteside totaled 17 points 7-10 FG, 3-6 FT), 13 rebounds, one steal, and one block in 20 minutes during Saturday's 100-92 victory over the Knicks. Whiteside still played just 20 minutes Saturday but was able to come away with a productive line. He ended with 17 points and 13 rebounds, his first double-double in over two weeks. He has been a huge disappointment down the stretch and his future is certainly a topic that will be debated across the off-season. At this stage, he is firmly behind Bam Adebayo on the depth chart and is more of a streaming option for the remaining games.
Whiteside finished with 14 points (6-8 FG, 2-6 FT), nine rebounds, and three blocks in 24 minutes during Friday's 116-87 loss to the Bucks. Whiteside came off the bench again Friday but saw more playing time that Bam Adebayo, who managed just 18 minutes. The game was ugly and the rotations certainly reflected the overall play of the Heat. Despite coming off the bench, Whiteside has been maintaining standard league relevance, although, the playing time here is likely to reduce again Saturday against the Wizards.
Last 7 Games
|3 Year Avg||68||422||56.7||1||100.0||189||65.2||1034||15.21||2078|