The NBA’s leading shot blocker, Hassan Whiteside, has announced that he will be re-signing with the Miami Heat in a statement first posted by The Player’s Tribune.
“I’ve played on eight teams since college — from Reno to Sioux Falls to Sichuan, China. I am not ready for there to be a ninth. I have decided to re-sign with Miami. I just wanted to take this time to tell all the fans how much you mean to this team, and to me. Can’t wait to get back to work and try to bring another championship to Miami. #HeatNation,” wrote Whiteside.
Whiteside is expected to sign a four-year deal worth $98 million, equalling about one-hundred times more than his previous contract. There is some flexibility in the deal, however, in case the team is able to land top free agent Kevin Durant.
New info on Whiteside deal: it's not necessarily a 4 for $98M max. He agreed to some wiggle room if Durant wants to come.
— Ethan J. Skolnick of @5ReasonsSports (@EthanJSkolnick) July 1, 2016
Heat owner Pat Riley said that Whiteside was his top priority this summer, but Miami still has a lot of work to do before they can be considered championship contenders again in the post-Lebron era.
Next up on Pat Riley’s agenda is re-signing Dwyane Wade.
The 34-year-old’s return seems to be up in the air according to reports from Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical. Wade, who hoped for a smooth negotiation process during free agency, has gotten the opposite.
To be fair, similar hiccups in Wade’s free agency last summer caused a stir about where he would land, or if he was planning to link up with LeBron again, so we should not read too much into his slow negotiations just yet.
After all, today is only the first day of free agency and there is still a lot to come for Dwyane Wade and the Miami Heat, who have already successfully brought back 26-year-old Hassan Whiteside.