Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald reports that the Heat would prefer that the 26-year-old re-sign for less than the max. Whiteside’s worth on a max contract would be $21.6 million per year.
With Miami facing a busy offseason which will see them try to re-sign Dwyane Wade and potentially chase after Kevin Durant and LeBron James in free agency, the Heat need all of the money they can get. Even with the salary cap increasing to $92 million for the 2016-17 season, Miami would have a difficult time signing a big free agent if they were to re-sign Wade and Whiteside to max contracts.
According to Jackson, the Heat are prepared to sell Whiteside on the fact that Florida has no state income tax and that they can offer him bigger raises off the first-year salary.
While Pat Riley has stated that Whiteside is the team’s top priority in the offseason, they’re going to have a difficult time re-signing the young center if they hope to have him back on less than his market value.
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