The Miami Heat have a team of solid NBA players. They don’t have a legit superstar but they go out, play hard and won 44 games last season. It was good enough for the 6th seed and they were eventually knocked out in the first round of the playoffs. The Heat’s highest paid player for this season and next season is Hassan Whiteside. A guy who was ran off the court during the playoffs last season.
Whiteside’s career has been up and down. He was out of the league for two years before Miami signed him. He came in, averaged a double-double and blocked shots. He played well enough to earn a big payday from the Heat but now he might be out of the mix.
Whiteside has always had an attitude problem and it showed more than ever as he was consistently benched throughout the season and in the playoffs. Two seasons ago Whiteside led the league in blocks with 3.7 per game. The following year he led the league in rebounds at 14.1 per game although his blocked shots dropped to 2.1 per game. In total he went from 269 blocks to 161 blocks. Last season he played in 54 games and failed to reach 100 blocks.
Whiteside is often known to stat chase, constantly looking for a block when he should just be there to contest a shot. His game has not really grown over the years. He hasn’t added a real go-to moves or a jump shot. He gets baskets by catching lobs and running the floor. Whiteside’s effort was in question the entire season.
He would often start games and be benched by the fourth quarter. He last played at least 30 minutes in a game on February 27th. In the playoffs he averaged just 15 minutes, five points and six rebounds. He had one game where he played over 20 minutes and that was the lone game where he had double digit rebounds and double digit points.
Miami has Bam Adebayo waiting to take over Whiteside’s minutes. He’s a young player with a high motor. After the season there were reports that Whiteside spoke with coach Erik Spoelstra and it went well but that doesn’t mean things will change once the season starts.
Whiteside makes a lot of money and most teams are not looking for a center who only cares about his stats and can’t play in fourth quarters. Expect Miami to try and look to throw Whiteside in any trade just to get off his money. Whiteside still has a chance to save face but he won’t get many opportunities this season.