The Portland Trail Blazers have acquired Hassan Whiteside in a four-team trade that includes the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers, and Los Angeles Clippers, according to ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski.
The Miami Heat landed Meyers Leonard while clearing cap space to sign Jimmy Butler to a $142 million max contract. Moe Harkless heads to the Clippers, along with a Miami first-round pick also going to the Clippers for taking on Harkless, the Sixers get Josh Richardson.
The Blazers take on the final year of Whiteside $94 million contract while waiting for center Jusuf Nurkic to return off a broken ankle suffered last season. Although the Blazers lost key pieces such as Seth Curry, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Enes Kanter, who were allowed to walk into free agency, the departures were not meaningless. The money that would have been used for Curry, Aminu, and Kanter allowed Portland to acquire Whiteside, sign star Damian Lillard to a Supermax deal worth $196 million, and stay under the salary cap.
Speaking of Whiteside, the big man had a solid 2019 season averaging 12 points, 11.3 rebounds and 1.9 blocks. While his blocks took a slight dip, Whiteside provides an undeniable presence in the paint.
The Blazers have a good core of talent even with those losses in free agency. Portland picked up Kent Bazemore in a trade with the Hawks and re-signed key role player Rodney Hood. The team also drafted Nassir Little out of North Carolina, who will provide key minutes in the upcoming season.
Everyone wins in this trade.
Miami gets Butler for the four seasons while moving off of Whiteside's massive one year contract. Miami also acquired a hard worker in Meyers Leonard, who averaged 14 points and five rebounds. A solid piece to have in the post-Dwyane Wade era.
The Sixers add Richardson who brings his 16 points, four assists along with shooting 35 percent from three. A nice replacement for the departing JJ Reddick.
The Clippers add 6’9 Moe Harkless, although he only averages 7.7 points, he is still young and has the size to help the Clippers space the floor. Along with the also acquired future first-round pick, the Clippers have plenty of leverage to make a splash in free agency or in the trade market.
With many the moving parts, all four teams involved in the trade get a 'win.' Whether it be building for the future, playing for the now, or making a pitch for a big name free agent, the Blazers, Heat, Clippers, and Sixers walk out as better teams.
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