Miami Heat: Is center Hassan Whiteside Cleveland bound?

BROOKLYN, NY - JANUARY 19: Hassan Whiteside
BROOKLYN, NY - JANUARY 19: Hassan Whiteside /

Rumor has it that the Miami Heat are discussing a possible trade with the Cleveland Cavaliers.

The Miami Heat/Hassan Whiteside saga could be coming to an end.

While I usually don’t deal with rumors and innuendos without a grain of salt, it’s always fun to think about the potential outcome of them.

Rumors have been surfacing that the Heat may have finally found a trading partner for their big man, in the form of the defending Eastern Conference Champions, the Cleveland Cavaliers.

One particular speculation (introduced by Bleacher Report‘s Greg Swartz) has come at a funny time, as it was reported that Whiteside recently met with president Pat Riley and head coach Erik Spoelstra, claiming that the talks went well and that the two sides are “in a better place now.”

Any fan that follows the NBA knows that the two sides have had their issues with each other.

Whiteside, disgruntled with the support of the franchise, and the Heat front office, weary about Whiteside’s maturity and effort or lack thereof.

Last season was an example of the ever-growing distance between the two sides, as we saw Whiteside experiencing a dip in production and minutes, and all the while, Heat supporters repeatedly questioning his lack of effort and leadership within the system.

All of this, along with his sizeable contract and Miami’s effort to avoid surpassing the luxury tax threshold, has resulted in efforts in attempting to find a trade partner to ship him out of town.

It has seemed unlikely, at least during this offseason, to get a deal done because of his remaining $52.2 million contract that runs until the 2019-20 season, that a team would also have to take on.

Potential suitors are also probably hesitant in bringing a player who has had such a tremulous behavior into their locker room, and most likely see that as a red flag as well.

But never shy about making deals, the Cavaliers are supposedly still interested in Whiteside.

The trade would send Whiteside to Cleveland in exchange for Tristan Thompson and Kyle Korver.

This deal would seemingly benefit both sides, as Miami could finally rid themselves of Whiteside and, in turn, receive a big man who is cheaper ($15.3 million as opposed to $22.1 million) and is a valuable asset with playoff experience.

They would also receive a bench player who has been one of the elite 3-point shooters of the past decade. In today’s current climate, where it’s all about the deep threat, Korver would be a fun addition combined with Wayne Ellington, who had a career year from beyond the arc last season.

On the flip side, a combination of Whiteside and the recently re-signed Kevin Love would potentially be the best 1-2 rebounding duo in the entire league.

Before Love took a backseat role to LeBron James in Cleveland, he was a monster on the boards as a member of the Timberwolves, averaging 12.2 rebounds per game in his six seasons in Minnesota.

While Cleveland would hope to get the 2016-17 version of Whiteside, who averaged 17.0 points, 2.1 blocks, and an NBA-best 14.1 rebounds per game, a change of scenery may turn Cleveland’s gamble into a risk worth taking.

Miami would check their biggest office season “to-do” box, get cheaper, valuable players in return and be on their way to restructuring their salary woes, going into the future.

It seems to be a win-win for both sides.

Next. The Miami Heat are having a better offseason than you think. dark

While for now this rumor is nothing but that, a rumor, it would be an enticing deal for both sides involved to actually entertain.