After a disappointing first-round series in which he totaled just 26 points, 30 rebounds and six blocks in five games, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside faces an uncertain future in South Beach.
The big man has been very vocal about his lack of playing time and how the team is not using him properly. After the Game 5 loss which ended the Heat’s season, Whiteside said it’s been a long year and he just wants the chance to fight.
“It’s been a long year, man, up and downs, up and downs,” Whiteside said. “Not being out there is tough. At least give me a chance to fight. I can understand if I was playing 30 minutes and I played bad. At least give me a chance. We played a style of play Coach wanted. He wanted to utilize more spacing I guess in the playoffs, so that’s why he did it.”
Whiteside had a productive regular season. He averaged 14.0 points and 11.4 rebounds in 54 games, but was critical of how Heat coach Erik Spoelstra used him towards the end of the season and that frustration continued in the postseason.
The Heat are expected to explore a Whiteside trade, per the Miami Herald. Whiteside is owed $24.4 million and $27.1 million in the final two years of his contract.
Whiteside says he will meet with Spoelstra and Heat president Pat Riley. “It’s definitely something you can discuss with those guys.”