Free agent center Hassan Whiteside announced Friday morning that he’ll be returning to South Beach next season.
The big fella has reportedly come to terms with the Miami Heat on a four-year max pact worth about $98 million.
"I’ve played on eight teams since college — I am not ready for there to be a ninth."
— The Players' Tribune (@PlayersTribune) July 1, 2016
The big fella met with Miami, Dallas and New York before announcing his decision.
Per the AP:
It is life-changing money after a breakout season. Whiteside will be signing a contract worth roughly 100 times more than what he made this past season, when he averaged 14.2 points, 11.8 rebounds and a league-best 3.7 blocked shots per game. His career path is well-known, taking him to less-than-glamorous leagues in Lebanon and China, stints in the NBA Development League and even getting cut from teams at that level.
The Heat signed him in November 2014, and less than two years later Whiteside has become one of the game’s most dominant centers — and one of the highest-paid players in Miami franchise history.
Part of that is simply because of the enormous jump in the salary cap this summer, but part of that is because of the potential the Heat see in Whiteside. What he did this past season left such an impression on Heat President Pat Riley that the nine-time NBA champion went into this summer stating publicly that keeping Whiteside was Miami’s No. 1 priority. […] If that truly was the case, then keeping Dwyane Wade had to be priority No. 1A. It took a $20 million deal for the Heat to keep Wade this past season, and negotiations on a new deal haven’t gone particularly well so far.
Keep up with the latest signings during the July free-agency period by following our 2016 NBA Free Agent Tracker.