For the fifth time in six games, on Monday night coach Erik Spoelstra left Hassan Whiteside on the bench in the fourth quarter, opting for a lineup with Bam Adebayo at the five and Kelly Olynyk at the four. Whiteside was not happy, and with less than a minute to go in the game he went straight to the locker room.
At practice Wednesday, Whiteside told the media he had to go to the bathroom and that’s why he left early.
Does anyone actually believe this?
Whiteside has been frustrated and complained when he’s not the big on the floor at the end of games. Which is understandable, he wants to compete. Spoelstra, however, believes in the smaller lineups and how well Adebayo plays, and he prefers a team that can space the floor with more modern style. That’s not Whiteside.
Going back to last summer, Miami tested the trade market for Whiteside but found it was going to take a lot of sweeteners to get a team to take on his $25.4 million this season with a player option (one he will undoubtedly pick up) at $27.1 million for next season. Maybe this summer the market will be different. For now, Whiteside is going to have to learn to deal with being on the bench more when games are close late.