It felt like a pretty safe bet entering the summer that the Heat were going to eventually move on from Hassan Whiteside. The disgruntled big man complained about his role on the team throughout the season. There were that the front office was in favor of an eventual trade.
So far though, Whiteside is still in Miami and if the summer continues to go the way it has then he's probably going to find himself there for at least one more season. Whiteside seems to be available for a trade, but Miami isn't getting the offers it wants for him. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, team president Pat Riley doesn't want to take on worse contracts for Whiteside and the Heat are starting to work on repairing fractured relationships between the organization and the player.
Two opposing general managers said last week that Whiteside has been made available but the trade market is limited, if non-existent, for a player who's due $24.4 million this season and $27.1 million next season and plays a position that has become somewhat devalued.
And Riley is not going to accept even worse contracts in exchange for a player who led the league in blocked shots three seasons ago and rebounding two years ago.
While some others in the organization were ready to cut bait, Riley still views this situation as salvageable.
And Whiteside's return now appears likely, so much so that all parties have begun the process of mending a relationship that grew strained on several occasions last season. Coach Erik Spoelstra said last week that he and Whiteside have been in communication and went to lunch.
The Heat's struggles in trading Whiteside are a classic case of a team having more value in its own asset than others. Riley still sees Whiteside as a productive big man who should receive fair compensation in a trade, but that just isn't the case because of his contract. Trading Whiteside is a liability. He makes too much money and there aren't many teams that see value in his skills in the modern day NBA.
That doesn't mean this can't change. Whiteside has been critical of the Heat not allowing him to expand his game and shoot jumpshots. If Miami finds ways to let him play more like a modern center, and he buys in, then maybe he can have a resurgence during his next season in Miami. If not, well then maybe the Heat will have better luck trading him next summer once he has an expiring contract.