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Dwyane says hello, J-Rich says goodbye

It’s not official official until July 6th, when the NBA’s free agency moratorium ends, but everyone knows Jimmy Butler is coming to the Miami Heat — including the guy most responsible for recruiting him here.

So Dwyane Wade, who had warm sentiments for outgoing players Josh Richardson and Hassan Whiteside on social media, went back to Instagram to let Butler know publicly what he’s surely been telling him privately.

With a little mockery of course.

Meanwhile, Richardson was at the Miami Pro-Am, watching his now-former teammate (but still close friend) Bam Adebayo and others.

Richardson received an ovation.

This came after Rook 2 thanked the Miami fans in a way they always wished that LeBron James had.

That was a little different from Whiteside’s departing thoughts — which the wife of new Heat center Meyers Leonard had some fun with.

Welcome to Miami, Elle.

 

 

Miami Heat

Heat Show Resolve in Wild Open to Free Agency

The voices of doubt crept into Heat territory after a few lackluster off-seasons.

Questioning of the Riley way.

Dismissal of Heat Culture as a burden not a springboard.

Those voices now must remain quiet, in order to catch their breath.

This team was deemed unsalvageable and lost by local and national media alike.

Now they have done this.

The mutual interests of Jimmy Butler and the Miami Heat were an open secret.

In seasons past that smoke would not turn into fire.

Miami did their best to lure free agents such as Gordon Hayward to Heat Nation.

They just had something missing.

Fast forward to the present and Butler used his leverage to get out of Philly, despite new reports he had a 5-year max offer.

 

Butler wanted to be the number one guy, rightfully so.

The Heat needed that exact piece and made it happen.

It wasn’t smooth sailing by any means.

 

Dallas did not want to add Goran Dragic, instead vying for Derick Jones, Jr and Kelly Olynyk.

Meanwhile, J-Rich was already ditching Heat Culture for some cheese steaks (there’s a joke in here somewhere).

 

In the end it will be mostly forgotten, a slightly embarrassing footnote to an otherwise fantastic deal.

Which would eventually get done.

Within the same deal and lost in the Butler frenzy is a trade that Heat fans have been longing for since 2016.

Miami dealt Hassan Whiteside to Portland for Meyers Leonard and Mo Harkless.

They then flipped Harkless and a future first rounder to the Clippers to free up cap space for Butler.

Andy Elisburg is still the GOAT.

Dallas might regret losing Dragic, and he will be perfect for the same role next year as last.

If he isn’t traded next.

 

Regardless, the Heat have returned to relevance quickly, shedding bloat and keeping the young core mostly intact.

And they may not be done.

Heat do the impossible, deal Whiteside, get value

“There are obstacles, but there are no obstacles.”

It didn’t make sense when Pat Riley said it a little over a week ago. In fact, it was so odd that it made some Miami Heat fans angry.

Anyone want to offer Riley an apology?

He told you that the Heat could move their worst contracts if necessary.

(He also told you that Hassan Whiteside would come to camp and compete and that  Goran Dragic was his starting point guard, but I told you to ignore all of that.)

 

Today, Riley and the Heat dealt one of the worst fits for their culture in recent memory, sending Whiteside to Portland for Meyers Leonard and Maurice Harkless. Who the Heat got back almost doesn’t matter, though both Leonard and Harkless are better complimentary fits here, provided neither is dealt elsewhere. The point here is, Whiteside had to go. It was long past time. And it was unfair to Erik Spoelstra to put him through another season of managing his situation.

We agree with that more than this…

 

It’s not surprising that the Blazers wanted Whiteside. They wanted to max him in 2016, when the Heat probably should have let them. And Jusuf Nurkic, their center, may miss significant time with a major injury. Whiteside is close with the Blazers’ elite backcourt, Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum.

It saves something else.

Us from having to watch players who didn’t care enough consistently.

Do you like the trade?

Apparently.

It’s polling 97-3 in favor on the @5ReasonsSports account.

Hassan Whiteside caught up in weird story

Is Michael Avenatti corrupt enough to run for President yet?

The attorney, who became famous by representing Donald Trump-associated porn star Stormy Daniels — and for oddly tweeting “basta!” all the time — was thinking about running for the White House. Lately, he’s had to run from the law, with a number of corruption and embezzlement and tax fraud allegations about him.

But this?

How exactly did Heat center Hassan Whiteside get caught up in this?

I mean, read the headline of that again.

Could that be any more 2019?

Allegedly, it happened nearly three years ago, not long after Whiteside signing his mega-max contract to remain in Miami.

And it’s a confusing tale.

Here’s the full story, in the Los Angeles Times….

LINK.

And here’s an excerpt:

When Hassan Whiteside of the Miami Heat wired $2.75 million to Michael Avenatti in January 2017, the pro basketball player intended most of the money to go to his former girlfriend, Alexis Gardner.

Avenatti was Gardner’s attorney. An actress and barista, she’d hired him just a few weeks before to negotiate a settlement of a potential lawsuit against Whiteside. It’s unclear what she would have alleged. Avenatti quickly struck a $3 million deal, and the $2.75 million was Whiteside’s first payment. Avenatti, prosecutors say, was entitled to take just over $1 million in legal fees, leaving the rest for Gardner. Instead, they allege, Avenatti hid Whiteside’s payment from her and immediately took $2.5 million to buy a share of a private jet.

Here’s more…

Gardner’s settlement with Whiteside — Avenatti never gave her a copy — required the basketball player to pay her $2.75 million in January 2017, then the remaining $250,000 on Nov. 1, 2020, the indictment says.

Whiteside wired the $2.75 million on Jan. 25, 2017, to a client trust account at Eagan Avenatti. Rather than taking his fee of about $1 million, plus expenses, Avenatti kept all the money and misrepresented the settlement’s terms to Gardner, according to the indictment.

Black Sports Online had his own reaction, and we’re including it, only because Robert Littal loves using the phrase “side chick.”

Avenatti, by the way, has responded, as he always does:

I look forward to ALL of the details coming out regarding Hassan Whiteside’s settlement, the money received by the client, the money deducted for fees and costs, etc. and the reason why he paid the money. I especially look forward to the inquiry by the and its commissioner.

Basta!

Or something.