Do you listen to The Lowe Post Show, hosted by Zach Lowe? If not, you should. Yesterday Lowe had Brian Windhorst on the show talking the upcoming trade deadline and which teams are buyers and which are sellers. At the 36 minute mark Windhorst begins discussing Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside, who is in line for a maximum contract this summer. The Heat do not have Whiteside's Bird Rights, so re-signing him is difficult for Pat Riley to do and be a player in the free agent market.
Packaging Whiteside with Luol Deng, whose contract expires, is then discussed. Windhorst mentions that Tom Haberstroh suggested the New Orleans Pelicans as a potential trade destination with Ryan Anderson making a new home in South Beach.
The Pelicans have two centers, Omer Asik and Alexis Ajinca, already on long term contracts. Manufacturing the necessary cap space to re-sign Whiteside this summer would require moving a couple players. Ajinca, Asik, Tyreke Evans, or Jrue Holiday could all be candidates.
Whiteside comes with some baggage, as Lowe and Windhorst discuss on the podcast. (Start around 36 minutes to get more background.) The Heat are actually better defensively when Whiteside is on the bench. There are concerns about his behavior in the locker room and even on the court.
In addition, as an unrestricted free agent Whiteside could go anywhere in the league even if the Pelicans could make a maximum offer. Are we sure he would want to stay in New Orleans?