Pat Riley committed a crime two years ago when he signed journeyman Hassan Whiteside to a two-year, $1.75 million deal. Whiteside emerged as an elite NBA center, leading the league in blocks in 2015-16 (3.7) and earning a spot on the 2015-16 All-Defensive Second Team.
As a 27-year-old free agent in his prime, Whiteside lined himself up to cash in this summer. Moments after free agency started at midnight Friday morning, he met with the Heat. Whiteside announced his return to South Beach via Snapchat, to the tune of Will Smith's "Miami."
— atreya verma (@atreya_verma) July 1, 2016
Six years ago, LeBron James held a TV special to announce he was taking his talents to South Beach. On Friday, Hassan Whiteside announced his move in a ten-second Snapchat video.
Whiteside actually left Heat fans on the edge last night when the night owls went to bed. At 1:38 a.m. ET, Shams Charania of The Vertical reported Whiteside left Pat Riley without a signed contract. A meeting with the Mavericks loomed.
Miami left its meeting with center Hassan Whiteside without an agreement, sources tell The Vertical. Dallas next up in New York.
— Shams Charania (@ShamsCharania) July 1, 2016
Assuming the report is correct, Whiteside must have had a change of heart in the morning, deciding to stay in The Sunshine State.
An added fun fact about Whiteside's contract: his salary for 2015-16 was $980,000, and now he has a $98 million deal.
Whiteside last season: $980,000.
Whiteside new contract: $98,000,000.
100 times more. That is the definition of keeping it .
— Tim Reynolds (@ByTimReynolds) July 1, 2016
The deal is for four years.
Consider this: @youngwhiteside was out of the NBA 18 months ago and some teams wouldn't work him out. Now, he inks 4-year, $98 million deal.
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) July 1, 2016
-- Follow Jeffrey Eisenband on Twitter @JeffEisenband.