Report: Hassan Whiteside leaning toward Dallas over Miami

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It’s amazing how all this has happened before everybody gets to officially sit down in a room and talk.

Free agency opens at midnight Thursday (into Friday), and Hassan Whiteside is one of the most sought after bigs on the market — an athletic rim-protecting big who fits the modern NBA style of play. Already he has ruled out even meetings with the Lakers, Knicks, and others and is only going to sit down with Miami, Dallas, and Portland.

And maybe not all of them have an equal chance, reports Adrian Wojnarowski of The Vertical at Yahoo Sports:

Now, if I were the cynical type, I might say this: Miami has been reluctant to max out Whiteside at $22 million a season for four years, while Dallas is going all in (and we have to assume Portland would offer the max also). If I were Whiteside’s agent and wanted to up the pressure on Miami to come in with a max offer, this might be exactly what I’d want to leak before I met with them.

Or, maybe Whiteside likes the potential with himself at the five and Dirk Nowitzki at the four in Dallas (especially if they can convince Mike Conley to leave Memphis, as they are trying to do). Maybe a lot of things.

Just know that once free agency starts at midnight — and once Pat Riley gets in the room with Whiteside — everything can change. Free agency is a fluid situation and what we think going in can change on a dime.