After a promising year with the Miami Heat, it is expected that Hassan Whiteside will remain in the team's roster at least for the next season. However, there are still speculations that the center might switch allegiance, and this time he might give it to the Charlotte Hornets.
Whiteside, recently voted as fourth Most Improved Player in the NBA, may already be suiting up for Miami's 2015-16 season. But a report suggests that he could also be auditioning to join the Hornets, a team that currently lacks depth in the center position, according to Hoops Habit.
The site says that Charlotte is a big part of who Whiteside was and still is, pointing out that he was born and raised in Gastonia, about 20 miles away from Charlotte, N.C. The 26-year-old center reportedly goes back to his hometown from time to time; his most recent is during this past summer.
The Miami Heat may already be making their move to secure Whiteside. Earlier this month, the team is rumored to have already fully guaranteed the player's salary for the next season. Hoops Habit did mention that it might be a bit of the stretch to say that Whiteside would find the Hornets' proximity as a reason to join.
However, the Heat's decision to secure will not be known until December 1 so there is still plenty of time for Whiteside to reconsider. Furthermore, Miami is also said to be focusing on other free agents such as Kevin Durant.
Meanwhile, the Charlotte Hornets' recently acquired Jeremy Lin has just been ranked as the 197th best player in the NBA by ESPN. The popular sports channel has released the 181-200 segment of its 400-man list which showed how Lin fared against other players.
The ranking is quite low for Lin and is likely influenced by the rough season he had with the Lakers. Nevertheless, the point guard is in a different setting this season under Charlotte and will be guided by a different coaching staff so he should be able to outperform his past year's play, Swarm and Sting noted.
In a recent interview, Lin has clarified people's misconception about his defensive prowess. "If you really dig into the numbers, if you look at my isolation defense numbers, you will see me leading all point guards in blocks per 48 minutes. People think, 'Oh man, he's not that athletic.' To me, people just see me being Asian and they think a certain thing. That's not all of it, but that's part of the story," he explained.