NBA Trade Rumors: Available Stars Knicks Must Pursue

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Dec 20, 2015; Miami, FL, USA; Miami Heat center

Hassan Whiteside

(21) celebrates after scoring in the second half against the Portland Trailblazers at American Airlines Arena. Mandatory Credit: Robert Duyos-USA TODAY Sports

Hassan Whiteside, Miami Heat

Position: Center

Age: 26

Slash Line: .624/.000/.520

Season Averages: 28.4 MPG, 12.8 PPG, 10.9 RPG, 2.9 ORPG, 4.0 BPG

The Miami Heat have the most dominant shot-blocker of the 21st century. Unfortunately for Pat Riley, what the Heat don’t have is said player’s Bird Rights.

According to Chris Sheridan of Sheridan Hoops, the likelihood of losing Hassan Whiteside to free agency has Miami testing the trade market.

"Dwight Howard is extremely unhappy in Houston playing second fiddle to alpha dog James Harden, multiple league sources tell And with the Rockets underachieving more than any NBA team, look for them to try to move Howard later this season. And the destination that makes the most sense is Miami in a trade centered around Hassan Whiteside…Heat president Pat Riley is going to try to turn Whiteside into the best available center he can find."

Pat Riley has since disputed this report, but it’s a possibility worth exploring.

The Heat are facing the potential of losing Whiteside to a free agent market that will be vast and limitless in possibilities. After DeAndre Jordan signed a contract worth roughly $88 million, it’s fair to assume Whiteside will get the same.

Under a rising salary cap, the willingness to execute such a deal will improve. For the Knicks, pursuing their rival’s coveted center shouldn’t wait until this upcoming offseason.

Not only would Whiteside solidify the Knicks’ defensive interior, but he’d be an excellent interior complement to the versatility of Kristaps Porzingis—a dream tandem for New York’s future.

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