It's Time for the Miami Heat to Dump Whiteside and Dragic and Move On

It's Time for the Miami Heat to Dump Whiteside and Dragic and Move On
Photo by felixmizioznikov /
According to Elisabeth Kubler Ross, there are five stages of grief: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. With the Heat currently a middling, capped-out, under-.500 noncontender in a league filled with superteams and ascending second-tier teams, fans have definitely reached the fourth stage. We are bummed.

That's why it's undeniably time to move on to the final phase: accept that the current roster isn't worth further investment of time or money, and pivot toward creating a long-term fix.

The Heat must accept its mistakes and move on. The team must make changes that provide a higher ceiling and more hope for their fans. It's the only way.

Carmelo Anthony won't fix the Heat's problems. In fact, he'd make things worse. Miami needs the exact opposite of that rumored flirtation. The team needs to disassemble the current roster.

First off, accept that errors were made in handing out long-term contracts to one-year wonders such as Dion Waiters and James Johnson, who have yet to even play this season. Those were never good moves. The Heat paid top dollar for players they helped have career seasons. The club needs to find a way to get out from under those deals, if possible.

The Heat must also accept it won't seriously compete this season and ship a player like Goran Dragic to a point guard-needy team with a first-round pick to offer. That first-rounder wouldn't automatically become a terrific player, but the pick would provide another asset to trade if a true star becomes available in the near future.

The Heat must get rid of Hassan Whiteside. Clearing his money from the books would help the team pursue a player such as Kevin Durant this summer. It would also dispel the need to constantly babysit him and massage his ego. Bam Adebayo is the Miami Heat's future at center. The team should recoup what it can for a seven-footer some team will covet, if just as a rental.

The Heat needs to accept its future will shine if it makes these moves as soon as possible. The team must act now and let this season be about saying goodbye to Dwyane Wade and playing young talent. It's time to acknowledge what they thought might work just didn't materialize.

Now is the time for the Heat to accept that not competing this season, or even next season, will be OK if the franchise is set up with good salary-cap health and young talent moving forward. 
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Ryan Yousefi is a freelance writer for Miami New Times, a lover of sports, and an expert consumer of craft beer and pho. Hanley Ramirez once stole a baseball from him and to this day still owes him $10.
Contact: Ryan Yousefi