The Miami Heat are one franchise never shy about pursuing stars. After throwing away years of draft picks as sign-and-trade compensation for LeBron James and Chris Bosh, they tossed a couple more into the fire last year to acquire Goran Dragic. Hence, Miami made some sense as a destination if the DeMarcus Cousins or Dwight Howard situations ever became truly untenable.
The piece presumed to be going in return would be Hassan Whiteside, one of the most unique players in recent NBA history. Historically good at shot blocking in a league where size is so prized that Ryan Hollins latched onto his eighth team, Whiteside was out of basketball.
Part of the logic behind trading Whiteside is that his two year deal means the Heat don’t have full Bird Rights, complicating his free agency next summer. Due to how he came to the team, his low salary would need filler contracts added to fetch a star like Cousins or Howard in return. However, Pat Riley says Whiteside won’t be going anywhere. In a brief public session with the Miami Herald and TV outlets at a charity event, Riley said, “I can guarantee you there have been no discussions about the BS that you have read in the newspapers the last couple of days. I like our team and I want to see where we’re headed.”
Riley’s stance makes sense. It’s the first full year in Miami for Dragic and Whiteside, while Chris Bosh didn’t get the chance to gel with them last year due to blood clots. That said, if Riles is working behind the scenes, he certainly isn’t going to admit it publicly.