Heat center Hassan Whiteside and Erik Spoelstra need to have a conversation about the future of the team. Whiteside was limited to only 54 regular season appearances due to injury and his numbers were down all across the board. There were multiple instances where the Miami big man showed frustration with his role on the team, and it all came to a boil during the Heat's brief playoff appearance.

The Heat were eliminated in five games to the 76ers and Whiteside was barely a factor. He was limited to an unimpressive 15 minutes per game, and his role as a traditional big man was outshined by the more modern Joel Embiid. After the Heat were eliminated, Whiteside complained about his minutes and role.

As the Heat continue to play a more modern style of basketball, Spoelstra has been forced to decrease Whiteside's minutes, especially in a playoff environment. The change of style obviously frustrated Whiteside because he is seen as an important part of the Heat and should be playing a larger role given the massive $98 million contract he signed in the 2016 offseason. 

The frustration and disagreement in playing time has led to what appears to be a disconnect between Whiteside and Spoelstra. This is a problem that the Heat will need to address, whether it means trading Whiteside somewhere else or forcing Spoelstra to make a change on the court remains to be seen. What we do know is that team president Pat Riley did say during a Monday end-of-the-season news conference that an intervention between Spoelstra and Whiteside is necessary.

What will take place in that intervention could decide how the Heat plans their offseason. Riley said in the same conference that Whiteside needs to become a more modern player. The traditional big man seems close to becoming extinct in the NBA and the Heat want Whiteside to find a way to make himself more effective on the floor.

What's interesting about Riley's comment is that Whiteside started off the season shooting 3-pointers and Spoelstra made a comment against it in early November. Via the Miami Herald:

Asked before Friday's game how he feels about Whiteside's three-point stroke, Spoelstra replied: "I'd like to see him lead the league in three-point shooting percentage. He can just stop right now. I'd be fine with that."  

If Whiteside isn't going to shoot 3-pointers then he'll have to become a more mobile big. Is that in his arsenal and is that something he is willing to do? If he is, then maybe there's a spot for him on the Heat's roster in the future. If not, well, Riley flat-out told reporters that no one on the roster is untouchable.

The next few years of Heat basketball could all come down to how this intervention plays out. Whiteside and Spoelstra might have some disagreements, but a sit-down could resolve a lot. Last season, it felt like another traditional big man, LaMarcus Aldridge, was bound to leave the Spurs. One meeting later with Gregg Popovich and he becomes their most important player this season for San Antonio. A lot can change, but both sides have to be willing to compromise to do it.

Considering the Heat aren't in a flexible situation, and Whiteside doesn't have the best trade value at the moment, a compromise might be best for both sides. Find a middle ground, figure out a way to get Whiteside performing at his best in a modern offense and go from there. If there's anything to learn from the Popovich and Aldridge situation it's that two sides can work differences out and improve. If the Spurs can do it, then there's no reason to think that the Heat can't.