Heat Mailbag: Could Wizards-Clippers trade set up deal that involves Hassan Whiteside? That & more on Winslow at the point

Maimi’s Hassan Whiteside shoots over Washington’s Marcin Gortat and Otto Porter Jr. (Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

Time for another Miami Heat mailbag

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 @ChrisHypeTrain: Could the Wizards-Clippers trade also set up trade involving the Heat?

The Wizards and Clippers made an intriguing swap Tuesday with Washington sending center Marcin Gortat to L.A. for combo guard Austin Rivers. The Clippers have DeAndre Jordan on the roster but likely are bracing to lose Jordan either through free agency (he can decline his $24.1 million option) or a trade if he opts in. Washington now is in dire need of a center to replace Gortat. Besides, after another season of underachieving the Wizards entered this offseason knowing they needed to make some changes. And even if they decide to keep their All-Star backcourt of John Wall and Bradley Beal intact, that probably meant more than swapping Gortat for Rivers.

The next name on the block could be 6-foot-8 Otto Porter Jr., and here is where the Heat could come into play.

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A year ago, the Wizards matched the Nets’ $106 million offer sheet for Porter. That deal has three years and $81.7 million remaining. The Heat have a center they likely are looking to move by the name of Hassan Whiteside who will be very difficult to deal considering his contract (two years remaining at $52.5 million), declining production and maturity issues.

But with the money pretty similar – Porter will make $26 million next season while Whiteside will make $25.4 – the Wizards may look at it as coming out ahead not only by acquiring a starting center but by saving on that third year. But that third year is what could cause Pat Riley some hesitation considering the Heat have just $40.7 million on the books in 2020 with the contracts of Whiteside, Goran Dragic and Tyler Johnson expiring. Porter would add $28.5 million to that in the final year of his deal if he exercises his player option. Porter, 25, averaged 14.7 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.0 assists last season while shooting 50.3 percent, 44.1 percent on threes. And although he spent a lot of time at shooting guard his rookie season of 2013-14, Porter played about two-thirds of his minutes at small forward and one-third at power forward last season.

The Wizards, though, could go another way. With Dwight Howard and the Nets expected to agree on a buyout, Washington might pursue Howard, who would be much cheaper considering he’ll be receiving a nice fat check from Brooklyn.

From Billy Mizell: What do you think the chances are that the organization will help Justise Winslow pursue running point for the team in the future? Justise seems to have found his niche there & it seems to give him a level of confidence that was missing previously.

This is a good question and it looks like Billy saw what many of us saw last season. Although the majority of the 6-8 Winslow’s time was spent at power forward, coach Erik Spoelstra used him as a facilitator at times and he appeared to be very comfortable with the ball in his hands.

“I really enjoyed playing point guard and I think that’s something as the offseason goes on I’ll sit down and talk to Spo more about,” Winslow said a few days after the Heat season ended.

As far as taking over for Dragic on a permanent basis one day, that will be determined by any trades the Heat might make and Winslow’s progress at the position. But, yes, I believe Winslow will work hard on his ball handling skills this summer and depending on the roster makeup his role as a point guard definitely could expand next season.

[2018 Miami Heat Offseason Preview: Will 3-point specialist Wayne Ellington return to Heat?]

[Tuesday’s question: Will Dwyane Wade and Udonis Haslem return for a 16th NBA season or retire?]

[Monday’s question: LeBron James could be on the move again, do the Heat have a chance of bringing him back?]

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