Hassan Whiteside has been one of the surprising stories in the league over the past two seasons. The former 2nd round pick spent two years buried on the Kings bench before bouncing around overseas and the D-League. Since Whiteside signed with Miami last season he has been a beast protecting the rim. Set to become a free agent this summer, the question that now comes into play is if he is worth a max contract.
In his two seasons with Miami, Whiteside has averaged 12.9 points, 10.8 rebounds and 3.1 blocks per game. Pretty decent numbers for a guy who was out of the league not long ago. So how much is the 7-footer worth?
There have been talks of him most likely getting a max contract ($23 million to start the first year) or somewhere close to that. The Miami Heat do not have a lot of cap space at the moment but still have an interest in bringing back Whiteside.
“At one point earlier this calendar year, the Heat had serious concerns about making a huge financial commitment to Hassan Whiteside. But in the Heat’s eyes, Whiteside has helped himself considerably since, and Miami clearly would like to re-sign him this summer.”
“But the amount the Heat is willing to pay won’t be decided until after the playoffs, and no contract discussions have even begun, because an extension with Whiteside isn’t permitted until the summer, in accordance with league rules prohibiting extensions for players on two-year contracts.”
Hassan Whiteside has also expressed interest in coming back to Miami next season.
“I hope [there’s interest]. I like the organization. Pat Riley is always going to do a great job of adding people that are going to help you win. It’s not hard to sell to come to Miami. You can always recruit great talent.”
He said he wants to “win more than anything” and believes he can do that here. “I don’t know too much about free agency yet,” he said. “I’m going to learn, though.”
Like I said earlier, the team’s cap gets interesting here. Next year Chris Bosh, Josh McRoberts, Goran Dragic, Josh Richarson and Justise Winslow are all under contracts. They also have other free agents to worry about like Dwyane Wade, Luol Deng and Joe Johnson. Since the team does not have his bird rights, the Heat cannot offer him more money than other teams.
While there is interest on both sides it seems like the Heat will not think about it until the offseason begins. In the end money talks and Whiteside will take the deal that offers him the max deal or close to the max deal.
Hassan Whiteside is hitting the market at the right time. With the demand of athletic rim protectors and the salary cap rising, he will be paid.
Do I think he is a max player guy? Honestly no. While he has been dominate he is not a guy you build your team around, especially since he is coming off the bench recently. I think he is worth maybe $12-18 million range and some teams might offer more than others so will see what happens.