If you like big men on expiring contracts who want to get paid a ton of money this offseason then you're going to love this. New reports say the Houston Rockets are talking to the Miami Heat about swapping Dwight Howard and Hassan Whiteside.
Dwight Howard could be moved by Thursday's trade deadline. Miami is talking with Houston about a deal that would include Hassan Whiteside.— Frank Isola (@FisolaNYDN) February 15, 2016
This deal doesn't make sense from Houston's side without draft picks galore.
Hassan Whiteside is in the final year of a contract paying him only $980,000. Almost all discussion this season have hinted Whiteside will request a maximum contract in the offseason and will be positioned to command a salary over $15 million a year after negotiations. He is an unrestricted free agent.
Whiteside has posted solid numbers: 12.2 ppg, 11 rpg, 3.9 bpg and a Heat leading 23.8 PER. If it holds, that blocks per game average would be the highest since Alonzo Mourning in 1999. But he plays only 28 minutes per game and has proven to be a selfish player and trouble in the locker room.
Money is a problem. There's a $21 million disparity between Whiteside and Howard. There would be two ways to do this deal.
The Heat can throw some draft picks into the mix to make a deal like this worthwhile for the Rockets. They get a half season Dwight Howard rental while shipping out Whiteside and players more likely for retirement than a future contract.
Daryl Morey has always liked Goran Dragic and had him in a Rockets uniform once before. This deal would be the Heat admitting they made a mistake in acquiring Dragic and handing out a max contract. If that's indeed what they believe, here's a quick out. The Rockets would be doing them a favor by taking Dragic. This doesn't make a ton of sense for Houston as Dragic isn't a piece you can envision next to James Harden for four years and doesn't look like the player Phoenix once had, but stranger things can happen.
I vote these trades down.