NBA Trade Rumors: Hassan Whiteside-Dwight Howard Swap Possible This Summer, According To ‘UPROXX’

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside has been the topic of numerous trade rumors following the team’s first-round exit in the 2018 NBA Playoffs against the Philadelphia 76ers. Whiteside had another disappointing game during the Heat’s 104-91 series-ending loss to the Sixers on Tuesday as the big man shot 0-for-4 from the field, ending up with two points and five rebounds in only 10 minutes of playing time.

The sixth-year player expressed his frustrations to the media after the game, saying that he should have “at least” been given a “chance to fight” and prove his worth on the basketball court. He said, though, that he continues to trust head coach Erik Spoelstra’s decisions, but the dissatisfaction was evident in his words and gestures.

"Not being out there. Not being out there. At least give me a chance to fight. At least give me a chance to fight,” Whiteside told reporters. “I can understand if I was playing 30 minutes and I played bad. At least give me a chance."

Former NBA star and ex-Los Angeles Lakers head coach Byron Scott criticized Whiteside in a recent episode of ESPN’s The Jump, saying that the 28-year-old big man should “grow up” and “understand that sometimes you are not going to play 30 minutes a game because of matchups.”

Another former NBA star, Tracy McGrady, who was with Scott during the show, said that he was “disappointed” in Whiteside. McGrady continued that he thought Whiteside would be more engaged with the squad when Joel Embiid came back to Philly’s lineup, but the player showed the total opposite. He said that Whiteside’s “lack of energy like he wasn’t interested” supported Spoelstra’s decision to bench him.

Meanwhile, ESPN’s First Take host Stephen A. Smith called Whiteside a “disgrace” and an “absolute embarrassment” because of the way he played against the Sixers. Smith said that the former Marshall standout is “too big, too strong, too gifted on the defensive side of the ball to be as anemic of a presence as he was throughout this series.”

All three analysts implied that Whiteside’s lack of effort to perform at a high level during the series should be addressed by the club as soon as possible in the offseason.

According to Bobby Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat could “explore a Whiteside trade” this summer. However, most analysts think that finding a suitable trade partner would be difficult for Miami.

UPROXX’s Robby Kalland listed some potential trade scenarios involving Whiteside. The reporter explained that all of the hypothetical trades he presented made little sense as it would be “nearly impossible” to deal Whiteside not only because of his attitude, but also because of his humongous contract that still has more than $50 million left in the next two seasons.

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

One of those trade suggestions was a one-on-one swap with the Charlotte Hornets for Dwight Howard. Like Whiteside, Howard has a reputation of having a poor attitude. Also similar to Whiteside, Howard’s game has not adapted to the modern NBA of big men having the ability to stretch the floor and shoot well from three-point range.

Kalland said that Charlotte could only “hope they will be the ones to tap into Whiteside’s potential” as recently-hired GM Mitch Kupchak “might still believe a true center has a place in the league.”

Meanwhile, the only advantage the Heat would have in acquiring Howard would be the fact that he is set to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, a year earlier than Whiteside.