While the Miami Heat made wildly successful moves on the trade deadline, acquiring Victor Oladipo from the Houston Rockets and Nemanja Bjelica from the Sacramento Kings, the Miami Heat is not done shaking up their roster. They have two open roster spots and per league rules, must fill at least one of them by April 8.
At this point, it’s safe to say that Miami is scraping at the bottom of the barrel of what’s left in the buyout market, and the focus is now moving toward players who are potential buyout candidates, which is also a small pool of talent.
Out of the bunch, if Hassan Whiteside receives a buyout from the Sacramento Kings, the Heat would have no choice but to seriously consider bringing the 7-foot center back to South Beach.
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The former late second-round draft pick was traded from the Heat to the Portland Trailblazers in a four-team deal in July 2019. As a member of the Heat during the 2018-2019 season, Whiteside started 53 out of 72 games and averaged 12.3 points (57.1% FG, 44.9% FT), 11.3 rebounds, and 1.89 blocks, in 23 minutes of play.
The buyout deadline is on April 9, so whether or not acquiring Whiteside, 31, is even a possibility will be revealed in the next coming week. ClutchPoints‘ Isaac Doctor listed Whiteside as one of the Top 4 potential buyout candidates and possibly one of “the best budget moves” available:
Whiteside had a strong 2019-2020 campaign for the Portland Trail Blazers, wherein he put up 15.5 points, 13.5 rebounds, and an impressive 2.9 blocks per game. One would think that with those numbers that he would be a highly sought-after free agent, but he received little to no interest in the market and signed a veteran’s minimum contract with the Kings. His playing time in Sacramento was cut nearly in half and with it his production… Nonetheless, a team in desperate need of size and depth at the frontcourt can consider Whiteside.
While Whiteside is limited in offense and lacks the range the Heat truly needs in a big man, if the Kings aren’t utilizing him, it’s worth a shot for Miami to try him out with a 10-day contract. Thus far this season, he’s averaging eight points and six rebounds per game.
It was a disappointing surprise when LaMarcus Aldridge snubbed the Heat to sign with the Brooklyn Nets, and then there was a large hope the franchise would shift their focus to obtaining Memphis Grizzlies veteran Gorgui Dieng, who signed with the San Antonio Spurs.
The Heat Were Linked to DeMarcus Cousins, But Boogie Is Reportedly Heading to the Clippers
Up until March 31, Miami had their eye on another available veteran, DeMarcus “Boogie” Cousins. The former fifth-overall pick out of Kentucky, who stands at 6-foot-10, could’ve been a solid big man to complement All-Star Bam Adebayo.
Thus far in the 2020-2021 NBA season, Boogie is averaging 9.6 points, 7.6 rebounds, and 2.4 assists per game, and he’s been linked to the Heat in media reports since February. However, it appears Boogie is going to bring his talents to Los Angeles, at least for a bit.
On Wednesday, ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski tweeted, “Free agent center DeMarcus Cousins and the Clippers are discussing a 10-day contract, but no decision is expected until next week, sources tell ESPN.”