Hassan Whiteside Reportedly Accepts $27.1M Player Contract Option with Heat

Adam Wells@adamwells1985Featured ColumnistJune 21, 2019

MIAMI, FL - JANUARY 27:  Hassan Whiteside #21 of the Miami Heat looks on during the game against the Charlotte Hornets on January 27, 2018 at American Airlines Arena in Miami, Florida. NOTE TO USER: User expressly acknowledges and agrees that, by downloading and or using this Photograph, user is consenting to the terms and conditions of the Getty Images License Agreement. Mandatory Copyright Notice: Copyright 2018 NBAE (Photo by Issac Baldizon/NBAE via Getty Images)
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Hassan Whiteside's tenure with the Miami Heat will continue for one more year after he opted in to his contract for the 2019-20 season. 

Per ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski, a league source revealed Whiteside's decision on Friday.

Whiteside will earn $27.093 million in the final season of a four-year deal he originally signed in July 2016, per Spotrac

Even though the money made it seem like an obvious choice for Whiteside to stay in Miami, there were reasons to think he could have sought out a new team in free agency. 

Whiteside's relationship with the Heat has been contentious at times. 

Following an overtime loss in April 2018 against the Brooklyn Nets, Whiteside vented his frustration with head coach Erik Spoelstra after playing just 20 minutes and sitting out the entire fourth quarter and overtime.

"A lot of teams don't have a good center," Whiteside told reporters. "They are going to use their strengths. It's bulls--t. It's really bulls--t, man. There are a lot of teams that can use a center."

Whiteside had another in-game incident during the 2018-19 season, leaving the bench early after not playing in a Dec. 4 loss to the Orlando Magic. He was relatively quiet after that moment, averaging his usual double-double with 12.3 points and 11.3 rebounds in 72 games. 

The Heat also moved Whiteside to the bench late in the season to get Bam Adebayo more playing time. 

Despite those factors, Whiteside decided to play out the string in South Beach for one more year before hitting unrestricted free agency in the summer of 2020. His ability to play in the paint and consistently average a double-double gives him value for a Heat franchise in transition.