Hassan Whiteside remains unhappy with how the Miami Heat are using him. He made that much clear following their Game 5 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers on Tuesday, in which he logged just over 10 minutes.
Here are the greatest hits from his postgame availability, courtesy of the Sun-Sentinel‘s Ira Winderman:
Asked specifically what stood as most frustrating, he went to the place he wasn’t allowed to go Tuesday, albeit while dealing with early foul trouble.
“Not being out there. Not being out there,” he said. “At least give me a chance to fight. 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.” . . .
Asked for his takeaway from the season, he said, “I’ve got nothing to say.”
Asked where he goes next in his Heat career, he said, “We’ll see. I can’t tell you right now.”
But he said he did plan to address the issues with Spoelstra and Heat President Pat Riley, saying, “It’s definitely something you can discuss with those guys.”
Both Whiteside and the Heat may want to re-cozy up to one another. Whiteside, Miami’s highest paid player, has two years and $52.5 million left on his deal. That commitment probably falls short of untradeable, but the Heat will likely need to include a sweetener and/or take back less savory money in return to push an agreement through.
Facing the luxury tax next season, team president Pat Riley may be willing to do just that. But even then, finding a trade partner is difficult. Non-shooting bigs making more than $20 million per year aren’t exactly hot commodities, and Whiteside’s open frustration with his role in Miami does nothing to help his trade value.
It’s likewise difficult to gauge how he fits into the Heat’s big picture. James Johnson and Kelly Olynyk are both spacier options at the 5, while Bam Adebayo is a better passer and more comfortable defending in space. Whiteside could make himself indispensable by developing a nice touch from the corners, but the Heat must be willing to let him fire away first.
Alas, regardless of what becomes of the relationship between him and the organization, it figures to be an interesting summer in Miami.