While the emergence of Hassan Whiteside over the last two seasons should be something the Miami Heat are happy about, the argument over his efficiency compared to the contract he’s going to ask for leads them to possibly considering making a trade, preferably for a shooter.
The Heat are one of the worst 3-point shooting teams in the NBA, whether it’s overall volume or their shooting percentage, making just 32.3% of their shots, which in a league moving more and more towards establishing outside options (something through a dominant inside presence), is unacceptable. It’s no surprise that the only two teams worse than the Heat in making threes are the Minnesota Timberwolves and Los Angeles Lakers.
What does Whiteside do? He rebounds and he blocks, averaging 11 rebounds per game and 3.9 blocked shots per game, best in the NBA. But his per minute numbers (getting five more minutes per game this season) have declined, and it seems the Heat have gone past the point of his usefulness. They’re actually slightly better when he isn’t playing based on the net ratings.
With Whiteside probably looking for $15 million or more per season on his next deal (if you compare him to DeAndre Jordan’s numbers, he might get it. Double double big men get that kind of money unless they’re really old) the Heat are seriously considering options in the next few days on the trade deadline, even though Erik Spoelstra isn’t a big fan of players that are shooting experts, but are considered one dimensional.
So who might come up? Options being constantly thrown out there when it comes to shooters being traded on the cheap are Omri Casspi who is having his best season, Steve Novak and Anthony Morrow on the Oklahoma City Thunder who want to play more and possibly even Wayne Ellington of the Brooklyn Nets, although trading for Whiteside means being at the risk of losing him to free agency at the end of the season.
Another interesting option emerges through the Memphis Grizzlies, who lost Marc Gasol for the season. A team that appreciates true big men (although Whiteside can’t do half the things Gasol does on both ends of the floor), the Grizzlies might be looking to salvage this season by picking up Whiteside as a rental. If this does turn into something more substantial, the Heat will obviously be looking to bring back Courtney Lee or Jeff Green, which improves them substantially in the Eastern Conference.