We haven't seen Hassan Whiteside play in the postseason yet and he missed the whole training camp due to calf injury. Miami Heat fans are eager to see Whiteside play as he was one of the best and most entertaining players to watch last year. This season, however, might be the second and the last one for Hassan in the Heat uniform, as there are some potential issues regarding his contract.
According toIra Winderman of Sun Sentinel, the Heat will be able to re-sign Whiteside in 2016 only if he accepts the minimum or the Early Bird average salary. Whether or not Whiteside plays on the same level he played on last year, he certainly will not accept a minimum deal so it's not an option. Speaking of the average salary for Early Bird contract, it will be valued at around $8 million and it is highly unlikely that the center will accept that kind of deal either.
It is important to note that NBA salary cap will rise next year and it will keep rising for a few seasons. While this means that the Miami Heat, as well as any other team in the NBA will have more salary space to sign players, it also means that players will be getting much bigger contracts than they get now and $8 million salary will be considered relatively low. To put it into perspective, Anthony Davis signed a 5-year contract worth $29 million a year. While Whiteside is not on the same level as Davis, he will be worth at least $15 or even $20 million a year if he keeps putting numbers like he did the last season.
This basically means that Miami Heat will have no advantage in the 2016 free agency when it comes to re-signing Hassan Whiteside. There is no way to lock him for the Heat and they will be in the same position as any other NBA team that wants Whiteside. However, there are rumors of Kevin Durant wanting to come to the South Beachand appparently there is a mutual interest between the Heat and the former MVP. If Miami decides to pursue Durant, then they might have to give up on Whiteside.
The only way for the 26-year old center to be locked in with a team is if the Miami Heat trade him to a team that has enough salary cap space. This would benefit Miami as they could get a few valuable players in exchange for Whiteside and they would eventually have the upper hand in the free agency when it comes to those players. One team that was mentioned a lot regarding this was the Dallas Mavericks as they would want Hassan Whiteside and would probably be willing to trade for him.
Bottom line is that if the Heat choose to pursue Kevin Durant in the free agency, Whiteside could join another team. It is still not known how well he will perform and whether he will increase or decrease his production on the floor. While it's still too early to talk about the eventual contract for Whiteside, it is certain that Miami Heat will have a lot of competition in the 2016 free agency especially if he keeps performing on a high level.