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Report: Heat’s Hassan Whiteside plans to exercise $27.1 million player option for next season

Hassan Whiteside, Heat

Hassan Whiteside will reportedly pick up his $27.1 million player option for next season with the Miami Heat, according to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald.

This is a move which surprises no one. Whiteside won’t make that type of money on the open market. The Heat will probably try to trade Whiteside this summer once the big man officially picks up the player option.

This past season, Whiteside averaged 12.3 points and 11.3 rebounds while shooting 57.1 percent from the field. The big man recorded 36 double-doubles, started 53 games and came off the bench 19 times.

The Heat, who finished the season at 39-43 and missed the playoffs, were 33-39 when Whiteside was in the lineup.

With the emergence of high-flyer Bam Adebayo, the Heat would prefer to move on from Whiteside and clear some cap space this offseason so they can be players in the free-agent market. A report from The Associated Press last week stated All-Star small forward Jimmy Butler would have interest in playing for Miami if it could clear cap space and give him a max contract.

Not too long ago, Whiteside was considered one of the best up-and-coming centers in the league. The Heat have to be disappointed with how he has regressed.