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Miami Heat head coach Erik Spoelstra says he and center Hassan Whiteside have been in communication all summer and that their relationship is not what it appears.
Whiteside totaled just 26 points, 30 rebounds and six blocks in the five-game playoff series against the Philadelphia 76ers and was very vocal about his lack of playing time and how Spoelstra did not use him properly when he was on the floor.
At his end-of-the-season press conference, Heat president Pat Riley said Whiteside wasn’t in great shape and fully conditioned for a playoff battle mentally. He mentioned the disconnect between Whiteside and Spoelstra would take a discussion between the two.
“I have absolutely been in touch with Hassan,” Spoelstra said. “We’ve gotten together for lunch, in constant contact on the phone and in texts. Like many things in this league, it’s not what it seems on the outside. It’s pretty normal NBA life. I’m looking forward to the start of the season with a healthy Hassan. I know he’s looking forward to that. And we still have a good part of the summer to get better. I think Hassan having an opportunity to start off the season healthy will be a really big boost for us.”
According to a report from the Miami Herald, the Heat have tried to trade Whiteside this offseason, but haven’t found a trade market for him. Whiteside is owed $24.4 million and $27.1 million in the final two years of his contract.