Heat center Whiteside to opt in, possibly seek trade

Heat center Hassan Whiteside is reportedly on his way to the Trail Blazers via trade.

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside is expected to opt in to his contract, and perhaps seeking a trade while doing so, according to Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press.

If that’s the case, Whiteside may be out of luck. He is due to make more than $27 million next season — likely pricing himself out of interest from opposing teams.

Whiteside, 30, averaged 12.3 points and 11.3 rebounds in 72 games last season. But he started just 53 of those and averaged a Heat-low 23 minutes per game.

Whiteside’s decision will be a costly one for the Heat, as detailed by Luke Adams of Hoops Rumors.

With option salaries for both Whiteside and Goran Dragic on their books for next season, the Heat’s guaranteed salary commitments will increase to nearly $130MM for just eight players, plus a $3.64MM cap hold for their first-round pick,” Adams wrote.

“The team figures to thoroughly explore ways to cut costs during the offseason to avoid ending up in tax territory with a roster that missed the playoffs this past season.”

Whiteside will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.