Miami Heat: Hassan Whiteside may eventually get what he wants

Hassan Whiteside Cody Zeller (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS via Getty Images)
Hassan Whiteside Cody Zeller (Pedro Portal/El Nuevo Herald/TNS via Getty Images) /

Miami Heat big man Hassan Whiteside seems to have a desire to be somewhere else in particular. He may end up getting exactly what he wants.

As we near that part of the year where the NBA rumor mill goes berserk, there may be a bit of action prior to the July free agency blitz. Miami Heat big man Hassan Whiteside has recently been hinting more than ever that he may want to leave the team. Ironically enough, or maybe not so much, the place he seems to want to be is the place that he calls home.

The mercurial big man is from Gastonia, North Carolina, one of the surrounding cities of Charlotte,North Carolina, specifically within a 30 minute drive or so. If his hints are any indication as to where he wants to be, then the big man seems to want to be a Charlotte Hornet.

There are quite a few ways that this could happen, but there are two that are more likely to happen than the others. Regardless of how you look at it though, there’s a good chance that the Miami Heat big man could get exactly what he’s asking for because based on a few things like his social media media moves, he’s begging.

With Hassan Whiteside being firmly in the driver’s seat at this exact moment, due to being the owner of a player option that if he chooses to opt into would pay him just over $27 million dollars in this upcoming season. This is quite a number for a player that averaged just over 23 minutes per game last season, albeit at a clip of a double-double per game.

If he were to opt into the final year of his deal, which all indications seem to say he will, that would pose an interesting situation for the Miami Heat decision makers. Knowing that he seems to want to play for his hometown team, the Miami Heat could then try to trade his contract to the Charlotte Hornets. Although there have been no indications that the Miami Heat would move in this fashion, there is a relatively good chance that it has at least crossed their mind.

Other than being traded there, there is another way that Hassan could get to Charlotte. He could simply opt out of his contract. The question here though is whether he would opt out of a potential $27 million dollar payday, when there is a great chance he wouldn’t be able to recoup all of it in a new deal. This doesn’t mean he won’t receive a new deal, with new numbers and new money, it just means that there is a good chance that he won’t receive a deal that would pay him that amount for one season.

The Hornets expect to be over the salary cap next season, so the most he could be offered as a free agent would be their whole mid-level exception, which would take three years just to recoup what he’s due next season.

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So, indeed there is a chance that Hassan Whiteside does get what he seems to be wanting these days. The question is whether he will be traded there or will he take a chance on himself by opting out while hoping to land a deal with his hometown Charlotte Hornets. That is the question, and regardless, we should have answers soon enough.