Free agency around the NBA hasn’t officially started and we’re already hearing reports of potential contracts ready to be offered and meetings set to take place.
Both of these eventualities represent the current status of Miami Heat free agent center Hassan Whiteside, who is coming off a breakout 2015-16 season.
The 27-year-old former second-round pick is slated to take his first free-agent meeting with the Dallas Mavericks, at which point ESPN’s Tim MacMahon anticipates the team will make a max contract offer.
“The financial negotiations with the Mavericks will take all of two seconds,”MacMahon said on the The Ethan Skolnick Show earlier this week. “One second max for the max.”
While the Heat attempt to make their push to sign Kevin Durant this weekend, their fans should be feeling a bit uneasy here. Whiteside apparently won’t even consider a return to South Beach should Miami fail to offer him a max deal.
With fellow free agent Dwyane Wade ready to listen to offers from other teams, president Pat Riley and Co. are surely playing with fire here.
Whiteside would be an absolute coup for a talent-stricken Mavericks team. He averaged 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and a league-best 3.7 blocks per game while shooting an absurd 61 percent from the field this past season.
If the up-and-coming center likes what he hears from Mavericks owner Mark Cuban, there’s a decent chance the first meeting he takes will be the one that lands him that massive contract.