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Report: Heat center Hassan Whiteside picks up $27.1 million option for 2019-20 season

Hassan Whiteside, Heat

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside has picked up his $27.1 million player option for the 2019-20 season, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel soon after reported that team president Pat Riley said no trade demand has been made by Whiteside, nor is there any one in place for the 7-footer.

Whiteside has had a rocky last two seasons with the team after signing a four-year, $88 million deal in 2016.

The big man appeared to have made his contract justice the year after first signing it, as he averaged a career-high 17 points and an NBA-leading 14.1 rebounds per game after leading the league in blocks (3.7) in 2015-16.

Yet an early injury derailed a large part of his 2017-18 season, causing him to play in only 54 games, while missing playing time in the postseason, much to his chagrin.

Things have spiraled down since then for Whiteside, who shot a baffling 44.9% from the foul line a year after setting his career high in free-throw percentage (70.4%) — inexplicably scuffing at an alarming rate.

Whiteside’s once-hailed defensive prowess is only a shadow of what it once was, no longer the ruthless shot-blocking intimidator that led the league in rejections and even put up a triple-double with blocks in the mix.

His conditioning, heart, and overall desire to play have been questioned throughout the season, including his commitment to the game, which hasn’t been the same since the year after receiving the long-term deal that changed his life.

Miami only played Whiteside for an average of 23.3 minutes per game this past season, hardly deserving of the oodles of money he made in 2017-18 ($25.4 million), let alone what he will be making in the near future.