In a move likely made to clear cap space for the Jimmy Butler acquisition, the Miami Heat have traded star center Hassan Whiteside to the Portland Trail Blazers in exchange for Meyers Leonard and Mo Harkless.
Whiteside is coming off a disappointing 2018-19 campaign, averaging just 12.3 points and 11.3 rebounds per game. The 7-footer still averaged nearly two blocks per game, but he’s not the two-way threat he was just a few years ago. He’s set to make just over $27 million next season before becoming an unrestricted free agent.
Meanwhile, Leonard and Harkless combined for just 13.6 points and 8.3 rebounds per game with Portland last season. Both are essentially depth role players and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Heat try flipping them or buying them out. This move will save Miami nearly $5 million in cap space.
Whiteside will join a superstar backcourt duo in Damian Lillard (who just signed a super-max deal) and C.J. McCollum. Will he help lead Portland to an NBA Finals appearance?