Hassan Whiteside hasn’t hesitated to let everybody know what’s on his mind, and even though he pretty much owes his entire NBA career to the fact that Pat Riley and Erik Spoelstra took a gamble on him, he seems more than ready to move on and take his talents out of South Beach.
Whiteside is just so high on himself and thinks of him as one of the best centers in the world, something facts have proven otherwise. Still, he’s got a point, though, many teams could use a center.
So, with him being clearly frustrated because of his benching through key stretches and the fact that Bam Adebayo has taken several minutes away from him, he’s pretty much a lock to force his way out of the heat for next season.
But, where should he land? Where could he actually play? Let’s take a look at the top 5 trade packages for the injury-prone rim protector.
5. Boston Celtics
The Boston Celtics lean on Aron Baynes for a physical presence down low, while Al Horford spends most of his minutes as the team’s power forward due to his sweet scoring touch from deep and his playmaking abilities.
Obviously, Whiteside would be a huge improvement over Baynes, and with the Celtics already trying to move Marcus Smart, they should be smart (get it?) to send the defensive-minded guard to South Beach alongside a 1st round pick.
4. Milwaukee Bucks
Some reports actually pointed towards the Milwaukee Bucks trading for Hassan Whiteside prior to this year’s trade deadline, so them actually trying to pursue him during this offseason makes a lot of sense for both parties, especially if they want to continue their improvement and be a contender in the East.
The Bucks have struggled to find a reliable center ever since Andrew Bogut left the team, and even though Thon Maker looks like a stud in the making, he’s still quite rough. Having said that, the Bucks could send Maker to Miami alongside a couple of future 1st rounders to get Hassan.
3. Phoenix Suns
This one’s kind of tricky, as the Phoenix Suns are reportedly looking forward to getting DeAndre Ayton with the 1st overall pick of this upcoming draft, but even if they wind up doing so, they could definitely have a lot of use for Whiteside as their starting big man.
The Suns are one of the most horrible defensive teams in the league right now so landing a top-notch rim protector such as Whiteside should be on their priorities, especially with Alex Len being a lock to leave the team. For that matter, they should trade Marquese Chriss and Tyson Chandler away as well as a 2nd rounder.
2. Washington Wizards
The Washington Wizards have needed a third scoring option for years now and even though Whiteside’s offensive game isn’t exactly Hakeem Olajuwon, he’s a very dominant presence below the rim and in the low post.
Marcin Gortat’s prime is far behind him and he’s never been much of a factor outside of the pick and roll, and he’s not much of a shot blocker either. So, the obvious go-to-move here would be just trading Gortat plus first round pick for Whiteside, with the Polish Hammer being a standout reinforcement for Miami’ starting lineup.
1. Dallas Mavericks
Ever since the Dallas Mavericks struck out on DeAndre Jordan, their plans pretty much went downhill up to the point where they just kickstarted their rebuilding process, but landing a true starting center would be pretty much enough to get them back into playoffs contention, especially considering they’re a lock to land a top 5 pick in this upcoming draft.
Also, Dallas would have Seth Curry and Wesley Matthews back for the next season, while Dennis Smith Jr would be more ready and mature. In order to make this deal work, the Mavs should trade away Salah Mejri and Dwight Powell along with a 2nd round pick, something that would leave the door wide open for a lot of playing time for Whiteside.