As the NBA free agency period approaches, several players have opted out of their deals. They opted out of their deals by declining their player option and will go on to become free agents. However, one player has decided to opt into his contract and will remain with his team. According to Adrian Wojnarowski, Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside picked up his $27.1 million player option for the upcoming season.
Prior to his decision, there were reports that Whiteside will request a trade once he opted into his deal. However, Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel said that no trade demand is in place or was made. Heat president Pat Riley also said there is no such thing in place.
Hassan Whiteside has opened into his $27.1 million option for 2019-20, the Sun Sentinel confirms. Also confirmed by NBA source to Sun Sentinel that no trade demand is in place or was made.
— Ira Winderman (@IraHeatBeat) June 21, 2019
This season, Whiteside averaged 12.3 points and 11.3 points per game. He played 23.3 minutes per game, which is the fewest minutes he has played since he joined the Heat in the 2014-2015 season.
His stats have dropped in the past two seasons after he signed a four-year, $98 million contract in July 2016. After signing the contract, he responded by averaging a career high in both points and rebounds. He averaged 17 points and 14.1 rebounds. Since then, injuries have played a part in his decline. In fact, the Heat demoted Whiteside to a reserve role after coming off of a hip injury this season. Bam Adebayo took over the starting role.
Whiteside has struggled in his last two years with the Heat. If the trade rumors are false, Whiteside has a chance to regain his starting role and once again become the skilled shot blocker he was in previous seasons. So, opting in may have been the ideal move.
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