Hassan Whiteside had 4-hour meeting with Erik Spoelstra last month
This past season ended on a real sour note for Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside. The big man struggled in the playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers, and he saw his minutes dwindle due to his ineffectiveness. That resulted in Whiteside complaining about his role with the team, which in turn stirred up questions about his future with the franchise.
Whiteside and the Heat have tried to make amends this summer. The 29-year-old revealed Wednesday during a media session prior to Saturday’s NBA Africa Game that he and Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra met for four hours last month, according to Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald.
“It was two hours basketball; two hours life. We had a great talk. Just trust on both sides. I think that’s the best thing.”
Whiteside further expounded on the main message of the meeting between the two parties.
“The biggest thing is I just want to be out there. It wasn’t about touches,” Whiteside said. Will he be out there more? “I think so. I’ll be healthy. I had a lot of injuries. I believe I’ll play more.”
Whiteside appeared in just 15.2 minutes per game in the postseason after playing 25.3 minutes per game in the regular season, which was already down from his career-high 32.6 minutes per game in 2016-17. He’s clearly hoping to return to a number closer to 30 minutes per game.
The Heat are hoping they can get more out of Whiteside, because the big man is owed $25.43 million in 2018-19 and has a $27.09 million player option in 2019-20. He doesn’t have much value on the trade market thanks to this bloated salary, so Miami needs him to be on the court and producing.
This meeting appears to have been helpful in mending the relationship between Whiteside and the Heat.