Hassan Whiteside is having a solid season with an expiring contract to his name. With the Miami Heat dealing with a few salary cap concerns, that is the perfect recipe for trade rumors. Whiteside broke out onto the scene last year and has kept the momentum up which has many people believing the Heat will attempt to move him for something else for free that he departs in free agency. However, all rumors are being denied regardless by everyone in the organization.
When asked about the Whiteside trade talk, team president Pat Riley simply laughed and called them, "BS." The drama started with Michael Scotto of SheridanHoops.com reported the Heat were eyeing potential deals for either Dwight Howard or DeMarcus Cousins during the trade period and Whiteside would likely be the player offered in return. However, according to ProBasketballTalk.com, the trade would also likely have to involve someone like Justise Winslow and there is no way the Heat agree to a move like that. Instead, Riley believes the Heat are moving in the right direction with the players they have.
"I can guarantee you there have been no discussions about the BS that you have read in the newspapers the last couple of days," Riley said, via the Miami Herald. "I like our team and I want to see where we're headed. Well, we've got great depth. I think we have a three-tiered team which is we have a group of great veterans, mid-aged veterans, and then we have youth."
According to Riley, Whiteside is one of the best defenders in the league. The task will be trying to re-sign him in the offseason. The Heat do not have the Bird Rights for Whiteside which mean his salary will count against the cap. That could hurt when the Heat also need to give Dwyane Wade a new contract while they also plan on chasing big names on the market. The Heat have already been listed as a team that will make a run at Kevin Durant in the coming offseason. Acquiring contracts like that plus keeping Whiteside could be difficult.
If the Heat are making trades this year, do not expect it to involve Whiteside. First, no team wants to acquire Whiteside who will just leave come the summer. His contract is worthless to another team. Players like Josh McRoberts or Chris Andersen will be the players that get shopped over the center. The Heat have been trying to dump Andersen for a while and would not hesitate to take an offer if it came.