He announced the news on July 1 on Snapchat, as Manny Navarro of the Miami Herald tweeted:
Manny Navarro @Manny_Navarro
Hassan Whiteside announces on Snapchat the #Heat is who he is signing with https://t.co/eHFqhV0J0S7/1/2016, 11:42:24 AM
According to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press, Whiteside officially signed the deal on Thursday.
On Thursday, Whiteside told Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel he would officially sign the deal despite Dwyane Wade's departure. Reynolds reported Whiteside inked a four-year max deal and provided a breakdown of Whiteside's huge uptick in salary:
Tim Reynolds @ByTimReynolds
Whiteside last season: $980,000. Whiteside new contract: $98,000,000. 100 times more. That is the definition of keeping it 💯.7/1/2016, 12:33:05 PM
However, Ethan J. Skolnick of the Miami Herald noted "it's not necessarily" a full max deal, as Whiteside "agreed to some wiggle room if [Kevin] Durant wants to come."
Dwyane Wade later congratulated Whiteside on his new contract:
Big big congrats to @youngwhiteside Your dedication and hard work to the game has finally paid off..#Caniborrow5dollars7/1/2016, 1:30:27 PM
The 27-year-old big man put up impressive numbers in his second campaign with the Heat last season, averaging 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and an NBA-best 3.7 blocks per game. Whiteside built on a 2014-15 season that saw him average 11.8 points, 10.0 rebounds and 2.6 blocks per contest in 48 appearances.
The Marshall product was a second-round pick of the Sacramento Kings in 2010 but played primarily in the NBA Development League before spending time in Lebanon and China. Miami took a flier on Whiteside, and the move paid dividends.
He missed some time in the playoffs with an MCL sprain but should be fully healed for the 2016-17 season.
The 7-footer added a different dimension to the Heat on both ends of the floor, and teammates noticed. According to Jason Lieser of the Palm Beach Post, Whiteside had respected veteran Udonis Haslem's full support:
Jason Lieser @JasonLieser
Hassan Whiteside's approval rating with teammates is at an all-time high. Locker room guardian Udonis Haslem says, “I love Hassan."5/17/2016, 10:00:25 PM
Guard Goran Dragic made it clear he would go to great lengths to convince Whiteside to re-sign with the Heat, per Lieser: "Everything. What's he want to hear? Whitey's a tremendous player and tremendous teammate. We love him here. He knows that everybody wants him back, so hopefully he's gonna see that. I'll text him and call him 24/7, butter him up all the time. I need to make my Snapchat so I can follow him."
Although Whiteside only has two years of high-level production in the NBA, he's among the game's elite centers. The Heat needed to get this deal done, especially with Wade signing with the Chicago Bulls, per Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, and Chris Bosh's status in question due to blood clots on one of his lungs.
Up next for the Heat? Hoping for a clean bill of health for Bosh.
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