Spoelstra downplays reported rift with Whiteside
Streeter Lecka / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside struggled to live up to the expectations of his expensive contract last season and speculation ran rampant that his relationship with head coach Erik Spoelstra was severely damaged.

However, despite murmur's of Miami's reported inability to trade Whiteside or his perceived broken relationship with the coach, Spoelstra claims that their supposed dispute is much ado about nothing.

"I have absolutely been in touch with Hassan," Spoelstra said, according to the Palm Beach Post's Tom D'Angelo.

"We've gotten together for lunch, in constant contact on the phone and in texts. Like many things in this league, it's not what it seems on the outside. It's pretty normal NBA life. I'm looking forward to the start of the season with a healthy Hassan. I know he's looking forward to that. And we still have a good part of the summer to get better."

This is positive news for anyone hoping Whiteside could redeem himself in the upcoming season after struggling to stay on the floor last season, playing his fewest minutes per game since joining the Heat in 2014.

If Miami is shopping Whiteside, it will be difficult to find a taker given that he has a difficult personality and is set to make north $52-million over the next two seasons. To make matters worse, he was borderline impossible to play in situations where he was forced to switch onto guards.

The market for centers has taken a massive hit, with Dwight Howard, DeMarcus Cousins, and Brook Lopez taking minuscule contracts compared to their past earnings.

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Spoelstra downplays reported rift with Whiteside
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