Rumors surfaced Tuesday that the Miami Heat were interested in a potential trade for DeMarcus Cousins centered around phenom shot blocker Hassan Whiteside. SheridanHoops also speculated that the Heat could trade Whiteside for Dwight Howard. That didn’t make much sense, as we outlined.
One thing I forgot to mention, however, was the financial issue with finding a trade involving Whiteside. CBS Sports contributor Ethan Skolnick, writing for the Miami Herald, broke it down Wednesday:
With all of that said, it’s been a long time since the Heat has been as adamant about denying a report as it has been about this one: the report that it is trying to move Hassan Whiteside to get DeMarcus Cousins or Dwight Howard. But it’s not like the team is angry. More like amused. That’s because a lot of the logistics simply don’t make any sense.
Start here: Whiteside’s contract is virtually worthless to another team. That doesn’t mean Whiteside is worthless. His skill set is worth plenty, even in a smallball era. But he’s making just $981,348 this season, and he will be a free agent as soon as the season ends. Miami cannot sign him to an extension and, unless he’s willing to take a mid-level deal (he won’t be), the Heat will need to use cap space to re-sign him because it doesn’t have Bird Rights on him. And neither would any team that acquires him.
That means there is virtually no advantage to acquiring him now. He’s simply headed back into the free-agent pool at the end of the season, when every team will have a chance to pitch him. The only potential edge you get from getting him early is that you can get him acclimated to your system, and try to show him it’s the perfect place for him to spend much of his future. In other words, the same situation the Heat is in now with him. But that doesn’t seem like very solid ground, not enough to deal a real asset for him.
So the Heat’s reaction to the idea that they could trade Whiteside to the Kings or Rockets is basically “lol.”
There is the fact that Luol Deng has a nice sizable contract that could be included as filler and eventually you learn that if a deal really wants to get done, there are always ways to manufacture the logistics. So if such a deal got some steam, it could happen. However, the lack of Bird rights is a major, major component that can’t be worked around. The only way Miami is getting rid of either of those players is if they specifically demand to be traded and the team has no alternative.
Unless that happens, don’t bet on Whiteside being moved in such a deal.