Miami Heat: Should they be hoping for opt-outs from Whiteside and Dragic?

DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 3: Hassan Whiteside
DENVER, CO - NOVEMBER 3: Hassan Whiteside /

Hassan Whiteside and Goran Dragic of the Miami Heat are seemingly pondering their player option clauses for next season. Should the Heat be hoping for opt-outs?

As this season for the Miami Heat has come to an unfortunate yet abrupt end, like most non-playoff teams, it is now time to start planning for next season. It isn’t just the Heat as an organization that have decisions to make though.

According to Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, Hassan Whiteside is said to be pondering his options for next season. These options are facilitated by a player option in his contract, that if he chooses to except, would pay him right around $27 million for next season. Whiteside is said to be torn between the guaranteed money that his contract will pay him for next season, or to leave in hopes of greener pastures in the form of more playing time.

Not long after Winderman reported on how Whiteside was feeling, within a day or so, he then reported that Goran Dragic had similar thoughts to Whiteside. Not that Goran Dragic was concerned with his playing time, or at least he didn’t outright say that, but he noted that he had a lot of thinking to do about his future as well.

With these sentiments in mind, it begs a question. Should the Miami Heat hope that these players opt out? The answer is simple, but complicated all at the same time. Let’s dig in.

The simplicity mentioned in the answer boils down to this. Yes, they should be hoping that both players opt out. However, in the case of Goran Dragic, they should also hope he is willing to stay in Miami at a lower rate if offered more years.

In Whiteside’s case, they should totally be willing to wash their hands with the shot blocking center, as it hasn’t really worked out in the grand scheme of things. Some will say he got “fat and happy”, and not in the literal sense of gaining weight, but became a bit complacent after receiving his lucrative deal a few years back. Others will say that he simply lost his minutes, by being outworked by both Kelly Olynyk and the ever-improving Bam Adebayo.

Whatever the reasons are for his seeming lack of hunger to give his everything, it would probably be best for the two parties to part ways at this point. Again though, if they could ever get Dragic to opt out of his current deal and into a longer term deal at more favorable money for the Miami Heat, they should definitely seize that opportunity.

Although they would make roughly $36 million combined next season if they opt-in to stay with the Miami Heat, with Dragic at about $19 million and Whiteside at $27 million, the team would only get to about $20 million in cap space if both opted out. This is due to current contracts, a more than likely buyout of Ryan Anderson‘s contract at around $15 million, and them signing their future first rounder from this upcoming draft, according to Winderman.

Although this isn’t max money by any means when talking about the upcoming free agent crop of players, but it could allow them to get nifty with what space they do have and their current contracts. When thinking about free agency, there is one name that sticks out for the Miami Heat above all others.

A friend of the greatest Miami Heat player ever and a prototypical Miami Heat-type player if there ever was one, Jimmy Butler is set to become a free agent after the 76ers are done with their playoff run. If the Heat could somehow get these contracts off the books, trim a piece here, trade a piece there, and perhaps even be willing to dip into the luxury tax for max talent across one season, Jimmy Butler would be worth it all.

To answer the question, yes, the Miami Heat should be hoping for opt-outs from both the players in question. If it means you lose Goran Dragic in the process, then that is just a necessary repercussion of needing to re-stock talent in South Beach.

Next. 5 reasons Dwyane Wade is the greatest Miami Heat player ever. dark

With Dwyane Wade gone and for as sad as it is, they need another max money type of talent, and the contracts on the books now just won’t allow for it. If they hope to jump right back into the swing of things and once again become a preeminent franchise in the league, these would be the first steps in that direction.