Miami Heat has been trying to move center Hassan Whiteside for the past two years, but his contract isn’t really a tradable asset in today’s NBA. Whiteside also doesn’t intend to make things easier for the Miami Heat, since he decided to use his $27.1 million player option for 2019/20 NBA season.
The news about Whiteside’s decision to opt into his contract was first reported by Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson, who added that the 30-year-old intends to inform Miami Heat about his decision in coming days.
Just because Whiteside used his player option, that doesn’t mean he wants to remain in Miami. According to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, there is a “growing belief” around the organization that the player will ask for a trade once he opts in.
Hassan Whiteside lost the starting role to Bam Adebayo last season, but still managed to put up a respectable number including 12.3 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks per game. Whiteside took an issue with his role on the team last season and the fact that he averaged only 23.3 minutes per game, openly criticizing the team’s decision.
“I don’t think I’m a 20-minute guy. I average what, 20 minutes? So I think I can play more and I can do more,” – said Whiteside back in April. “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.”
Still, it seems like Whiteside decided to choose money over starting minutes, as Adebayo is expected to keep on his role in the next season. This will lead to Whiteside becoming the league’s most expensive backup center if Heat doesn’t decide to give up some assets in order to trade him.