Since LeBron James' departure in 2014, the Miami Heat have been irrelevant in the Eastern Conference.
But with Hassan Whiteside, another season of development for Justice Winslow, and the return of Dwyane Wade, Miami was expected to be on the come-up this campaign. Clearly, something's not right.
At 9-14, good enough for 10th in the East, the Heat seem about as lost as ever. As a result, Pat Riley might be ready for a change, according to Sam Amico of Amico Hoops:
“The Miami Heat continue to look for a taker for center Hassan Whiteside but are having no luck so far, league sources told Amico Hoops.”
Of course, the biggest problem in dealing Whiteside is his hefty contract, that has him set to make more than $24 million this season and $27 million next year
That’s an albatross of a deal for a 7-footer, even one who has plenty of talent and is averaging 13.5 points and 13.7 rebounds." Amico continued. "But in a league that remains fixated on 'small ball' and perimeter shooting, big men who are glued to the low post are having trouble being a fit — particularly late in games."
He couldn't have gotten it more right.
These days, traditional style bigs are just not as valuable as they once were. Hassan Whiteside, even despite his talent, is not worth nearly as much money as he's making.
To make matters worse, Whiteside isn't even with the team, citing "personal reasons" as the excuse for his absence. Could this be due to some disconnect with the team?]
Whatever happens, it's clear that Miami is having some problems with their star right now. And unless they can find a willing trade partner, they might be stuck with him until his contract dies out in 2021.