UPDATE 6/30/16 (11:34 AM PT): According to Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical, Whiteside’s free agency decision will likely be between the Mavericks and the Heat:
Sources: As 12:01 AM nears, free agent Hassan Whiteside's focus is centered on Miami and Dallas. Decision could come quickly on July 1.
— Adrian Wojnarowski (@WojVerticalNBA) June 30, 2016
Center Hassan Whiteside is expected to be one of the most sought-after players in NBA free agency this summer with plenty of teams rumored to be interested in the up-and-comer. The Los Angeles Lakers will be one of the teams that will aggressively pursue Whiteside with hopes of adding him to their young core. Although the Lakers may eventually get a meeting, the Dallas Mavericks appear to be first in line on July 1.
According to Tim MacMahon of ESPN, the Mavericks will get the first opportunity to land Whiteside, via HeatNation.com:
In a radio interview yesterday, Tim MacMahon of ESPN.com said that the Dallas Mavericks will be getting the first meeting with Whiteside when the clock hits 12:01 a.m on July 1st. He noted, “It’s not like the Mavericks have had a ton of success in free agency recently,” which just points to the fact that Mark Cuban is on the edge of his seat waiting to make a big splash this offseason.
The Boston Celtics and Charlotte Hornets are also potential suitors for Whiteside in free agency. The Celtics, much like the Lakers, are looking to make a big splash in free agency this summer. Signing Whiteside would fit the bill for Boston.
Charlotte is an interesting destination for the 27-year-old. Whiteside is from North Carolina and returning home may spark his interest, but the Hornets have a long list of their of players they need to re-sign. Jeremy Lin, Nicolas Batum, Marvin Williams, Courtney Lee, and Al Jefferson will all be free agents with no guarantee the team will be able to bring all of these players back.
As for the Lakers, Whiteside is the ideal fit in the frontcourt. Whiteside would be the anchor on defense that Roy Hibbert was unable to be last season, and he can grow with this young team while potentially flourishing under new head coach Luke Walton.