Free agent Whiteside says loyalty won't drive decision


Miami Heat's Hassan Whiteside has gone from a fringe player to a franchise-type player in the NBA in just a couple of seasons. 

While 27-year-old centre said he is thankful for the opportunities he was given in Miami, he is planning on making the most of his impending status as an unrestricted NBA free agent.

Coming off a season where he averaged career highs in points (14.2), rebounds (11.8) and blocks (3.7), Whiteside is reportedly attracting interest from the Los Angeles Lakers.

Whiteside told reporters on Sunday that a home discount will not be given this off-season.

"I don't think it's about loyalty," he said. "I think it's just about the best situation for myself."

Whiteside has spent the last two seasons with the Heat after being drafted by the Sacramento Kings in 2010 and spending time in the D-League. \

That does not mean he will not stick around with the Heat, but he is not saying he will be back for sure.

"We're gonna see what happens. I'm not counting the Heat off, or I'm counting on another team its," Whiteside said.

The Heat, specifically president Pat Riley, have made it clear that retaining Whiteside is their top priority.

"I talk to Pat Riley probably two weeks ago, we had a meeting, we talked and it went good. We'll see what happens," he added.