A new big man might be joining the Dallas Mavericks for the 2016-17 season. Adrian Wojnarowski of The Veritcal is reporting that the Mavericks are leading the fight for Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside.
Sources on @TheVertical. Dallas Mavericks emerging as a frontrunner for Miami free agent center Hassan Whiteside. Heat's lost ground on him.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@wojespn) July 1, 2016
The Mavericks have reportedly offered Whiteside a max deal.
One has to wonder what exactly has happened with the Heat. In May, Pat Riley made it clear that Whiteside was Miami’s No. 1 priority. Something has obviously happened in the last month, as Whiteside’s interest has cooled.
The most logical possiblity is that the Heat’s interest in other free agents (Kevin Durant) got in the way of a Whiteside offer. If that’s not the case, this doesn’t really add up, unless Riley was never as interested in Whiteside as he initially let on.
Based on the collective bargaining agreement, Miami can offer more to Whiteside than any other team. That, along with Florida’s tax laws, should have given the Heat a tremendous advantage. If Whiteside was a true top priority, bringing him back wouldn’t have ever been a problem.
Whatever has happened in Miami aside, Whiteside would be a fantastic addition for Dallas. The Mavericks have a real hole at center. It’s hard to imagine Salah Mejri and JaVale McGee combining forces on a championship contender.
Whiteside would give Dallas a rim protector not enjoyed by that franchise since Tyson Chandler in 2011. That season also saw the Mavericks win the NBA title.