The Miami Heat weren’t expected to be major players in free agency this season, but they’ve made themselves just that after orchestrating a sign-and-trade deal with the Sixers to bring Jimmy Butler to South Beach.
That trade is still hanging in the balance as Miami tries to find a new third team to complete the deal after talks with Dallas fell apart over confusion about what players the Mavs would be getting. The expectation is for Goran Dragic to be on the move to someone, but as cap space dries up, it’s becoming a bit dicey as to who can take on such a deal into space.
To possibly help with that, the Heat have found another trade, separate from the Butler deal, that will help them shed a bit of salary and a player they’ve been trying to deal for two years. Hassan Whiteside and his expiring $27 million are on their way to Portland for Maurice Harkless and Meyers Leonard, per ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski, which, if that’s all that’s coming back from the Blazers will save Miami a little under $5 million.
It’s not a blockbuster deal by any means, but seems like a good deal for Miami. Whiteside was already disgruntled for a significant period of time, per many reports, and his personality and Jimmy Butler’s seemed like it was destined for disaster. In return they get a couple players that can help this season, while still maintaining some flexibility for the futures.
As for Portland, they are likely losing Enes Kanter and needed someone that could split minutes with Jusuf Nurkic at the center spot, so they’ll hope they can focus Whiteside and get him to buy in and play hard on a team with championship aspirations.