Heat Mailbag: Best trade partner for Whiteside; chances Carmelo end up in Miami

Miami Heat’s Dwyane Wade talks with Hassan Whiteside during a game this season. against the Phoenix Suns. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

Time for another Miami Heat mailbag. … Postseason edition.

If you were not able to ask a question this time, send them along for future mailbags via Twitter to @tomdangelo44 and @Anthony_Chiang. You can also e-mail me at tdangelo@pbpost.com.

    From Joan, Ft. Lauderdale: What team is the best trade partner for a Whiteside deal?

The Heat will be active on the trade front, especially when it comes to Whiteside, whose disappointing season was punctuated with a more disappointing playoffs. Whiteside, though, will be difficult to move because of his contract – two-years and $52.5 million remaining on a four-year, $98 million deal – but Pat Riley might have some options.

The best could be the Milwaukee Bucks, a team that has underachieved and now must win a Game 7 in Boston just to advance out of the first round of the playoffs. The Bucks are talented but lack a true post presence. Milwaukee was last in the league in rebounding with just 39.8 per game and the 7-foot Whiteside led the league in rebounding in 2016-17 with 14.1 per game. The package likely would start with center John Henson, who is due $10.5 million next season and $9.7 million in 2019-20.

A secondary option remains the Suns, the team with the worst defense in the league last year allowing 113.3 points per game. Tyson Chandler was their starting center and will be 36-years-old next season. Next year is the final year of his deal at $13.6 million.

The offers, though, are not expected to come rolling in for a player whose trade value has plummeted. The question is would Miami rather essentially dump Whiteside and back as little as possible just to get out from under his contract or would they want a couple of players who can contribute but cost them more on the cap in the long run?

    From Kevin, Fort Myers: Any chance Carmelo Anthony ends up in Miami?

Ah, the Carmelo conundrum. The Thunder’s so-called Super Team was not so super this season and now they will be forced to break it up, especially if they lose this opening round series to the Jazz and Paul George does not re-sign. Their priority then would be to move Anthony, who will exercise the player option on his $27.9 million salary for 2018-19. One way for the Heat to shed some salary for the future would be to package a couple of long-term contracts for the final year of Anthony’s deal, which would mean insisting on Tyler Johnson – who will make $38.5 million the next two years – be a part of that deal.

As for Whiteside being involved, OKC has Steven Adams, who comes with his own albatross of a contract being owed $77.4 million over the next three years. As for Anthony, his numbers took a dive last season, from 22.4 points per game to 16.2 and has shot just 40.4 percent. And he turns 34 in one month.

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