Hassan Whiteside played only 23 minutes in the Miami Heat‘s home loss to the Washington Wizards last night, in part because the Wizards went super small down the stretch and Erik Spoelstra decided to keep his goliath big man on the bench.
Today many might be wondering whether Whiteside will be a part of Miami’s future plans at the cost of a likely maximum contract this summer in a league that’s playing more small ball than ever. Throwback bigs like Hassan are an endangered species at this point.
Not Dan Le Batard.
“I think that there is a zero-percent chance that Whiteside leaves,” Le Batard said in the local hour of the Dan Le Batard Show with Stugotz Tuesday morning on 790 the Ticket. “Zero percent. Because they are forced to give him the max. They’re forced. You can’t lose him for nothing. You cannot lose that for nothing and so you get forced to give him the max even if you don’t think that he deserves the max. And they’d like to go cheaper there and they’d like to do one of those deals where they talk to him like they talked to Dragic about taking less money. I don’t know whether that’s gonna fly at all with Hassan Whiteside. It may only in this respect. The only way that it may is that Hassan Whiteside does appreciate that the Heat were the team that gave him the chance and believed in him…”
Le Batard also dropped an interesting nugget about the Heat in hindsight regarding Knicks standout rookie Kristaps Porzingis.
“The Heat know that they blew it on Porzingis,” he said. “They had him 12th on their Draft Board.”
He says part of the reason was because when Riley went to see him play overseas he logged just seven minutes. At least it worked out for the Heat. Not only did they not even have a chance to screw up by passing on Porzingis — the Knicks took him at No. 4 — but a defensive juggernaut in Justise Winslow slid right into their hands at No. 10.