The NBA has suspended Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside for one game after striking San Antonio Spurs center Boban Marjanovic in the neck/head area while attempting to box him out.
Whiteside, while understandably frustrated that Marjanovic was pushing him in the back prior to the swing, should know better than to target someone’s head with an elbow. If you watch the full video, you can see him trying to explain he just turned and his elbow went with him:
However, the video dispels that attempt at reconciliation.
Outside of this act, the 26-year-old seven footer is having his best year of his career. With averages of 12 points, 11 rebounds and four blocks, he’s setting himself up for a huge contract, although some of his antics may make teams wary of paying him.
Originally starting his career in Sacramento during the 2010 season, the former Marshall player lasted just two years there before falling out of the NBA entirely. Then in the 2014-15 season, he signed with the Heat and broke out on a minimum contract.
CBS Sports writes that the Heat may look to trade the young center due to his contract potential next season and unwillingness to develop him:
With Whiteside in a contract year and headed for what looks to be a massive overpay in free agency, you have to think the Heat will be active in seeking a trade for Whiteside. Whiteside has still been productive and can be an impact player for a team, but with the Heat focused on short-term goals, finding time to develop him emotionally may not be something they have the bandwidth for.
If he’s still with the Heat, Whiteside will miss the first game after the All-Star break against the Atlanta Hawks and be back on Feb. 20 versus the Washington Wizards.