Hassan Whiteside (2014-19)
The story of Hassan Whiteside is an interesting one for the Miami Heat. He went from being one of the team’s most beloved players to being one of the most disappointing ones in a matter of a couple of seasons. Bursting onto the scene with the Heat during the 2014-15 season, Whiteside would slowly play his way into a starting role. He continued his impressive play during the 2015-16 season in which he averaged 14 points, 12 rebounds, and 3.7 blocks per game.
Being one of the most sought-after free agents during the 2016 free agency period, the Heat decided to re-sign Whiteside via a four-year, $98 million contract. This was the moment when it all changed for Whiteside during his tenure with the Heat. With a near-$100 million contract, Whiteside was now playing under real expectations for the first time in his career. And it would be something he struggled with.
Whiteside struggled at times to play within the Heat’s system and the emergence of Bam Adebayo, who was drafted during the 2017 NBA Draft, opened the door for the possibility of change for the Heat at the center position. Whiteside’s production would continue to decrease and the Heat finally traded him to the Portland Trail Blazers during the final year of his four-year contract.
The four-year, near-$100 million contract that Whiteside signed will go down as one of the worst contract extensions in Heat history. The Heat likely held onto Whiteside a couple of seasons too long, but, in fairness, that contract did Miami no favors in being able to move on.