This weekend Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside went on a tirade about being on the bench during the ending stretch of games.
“A lot of teams don’t have a good center,” Whiteside said. “They are going to use their strengths. It’s bulls—. It’s really bulls—, man. There are a lot of teams that can use a center.”
Yesterday he attributed his rant to a venting of built up frustration from Saturday’s overtime loss to the Nets, one of the worse teams in the East. He showed his support publicly for Coach Spoelstra’s decision, but traces of doubt concerning Whiteside’s future with the Heat still remain.
Whiteside is on a minutes restriction coming off of a hip injury that sidelined him for 9 games. He has missed a total of 29 games thus far. Bam Abedayo, who has been a frequent visitor of the highlight reels this season, has been the recipient of many of Whiteside’s unused minutes. Despite the minutes restriction, Whiteside seems to feel a need to be on the court to finish the stretch of close games using those minutes and seems interested in pursuing a trade with a team that wants him for that role.
With that being said, let’s speculate these 3 possibilities:
Milwaukee Bucks: http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=y9uzbesh
In exchange for John Henson and Matthew Dellavedova
At the trade deadline the rumor was that the Bucks were considering a pursuit of Whiteside to boost their frontcourt. The best center that Milwaukee currently has on their roster is John Henson who is averaging similar numbers to Miami backup Abedayo. We would put Henson on the chopping block along with guard Matthew Dellavedova, whose role will diminish with the recent acquisition of Brandon Jennings. A monstrous backcourt of Giannis Antetokounmpo and Hassan Whiteside sounds terrifying. The Bucks are a below average defensive team and the addition of a powerful and assertive center is likely to change that.
Cleveland Cavaliers: http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=y8puku8a
In exchange for JR Smith and Tristan Thompson, Cavs also get Rodney McGruder
The Cavs are only better in defensive efficiency than the Phoenix Suns and the Sacramento Kings, two of the front runners for the NBA tank race. Whiteside fixes many of those problems. I vote that adding JR Smith to the trade will help both sides. Smith has been absolutely awful as of late for the Cavs and posts a Player Efficiency Rating of just 8.6. His shooting, if Spoelstra can dial it in which I believe he can, will be a helpful asset to the Heat who will need an offensive punch in the playoffs without Dion Waiters. Tristan Thompson would be a nice addition to Miami for a super big lineup featuring him and Kelly Olynyk in the backcourt.
Portland Trailblazers: http://www.espn.com/nba/tradeMachine?tradeId=y9xahhjr
In exchange for Zach Collins and Evan Turner
Portland is known for its guard play. Besides Jusuf Nurkic, the Trailblazers don’t boast a lot of intimidating frontcourt strength. Zach Collins has some promising upside as a stretch big but this trade will not happen if the Blazers aren’t willing to give up a player such as Evan Turner or Maurice Harkless. Damien Lillard and CJ McCollum playing off a Whiteside pick and roll sounds, on paper, like the deadliest combo the NBA might have to offer. The Trailblazers are already an efficient defensive team, almost top 5 in the league, and the addition of Whiteside will put them over the top.
While the Heat getting rid of Whiteside is still rather unlikely, we learned last off-season that nothing is impossible. These trades were all successfully put through the ESPN Trade Machine (check the links to view) which means that financially they work for both teams, but that doesn’t mean teams are willing to make them. Plus, on the court they might not pan out as effectively as they sound. Let us know what changes you would make or what trades you would suggest instead!
Quote taken from ESPN.com
Featured Image: bleacherreport.com
Other Image Sources: nba.com, clutchpoints.com