Dallas Mavericks

Hassan Whiteside doesn’t even sleep on Mavericks’ free-agent pitch

Chat with Dallas Mavericks G Wesley Matthews ahead of Dirk Nowitzki's Heroes Celebrity Baseball Game

After his first season with the Mavs, Matthews is betting on himself in his charity baseball debut Friday at Frisco's Dr. Pepper Ballpark, even if his swing is a little rusty. He speaks with Star-Telegram reporters Brian Gosset and Matthew Martine
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After his first season with the Mavs, Matthews is betting on himself in his charity baseball debut Friday at Frisco's Dr. Pepper Ballpark, even if his swing is a little rusty. He speaks with Star-Telegram reporters Brian Gosset and Matthew Martine

The Dallas Mavericks have bottomed out when it comes to pursuing free-agent centers.

Their latest target, the temperamental, but clearly talented Hassan Whiteside didn’t even feel the need to sleep on Team Dallas’ pitch following an early morning meeting in New York shortly after the NBA’s free-agency period officially got underway.

There had been plenty of speculation that this 7-foot specimen capable of posting the most rare form of triple-double (points, rebounds, blocks – “Nobody’s doing it with blocks,” Whiteside said after posting one last season, see below) was seriously considering leaving Miami, the team that gave him another chance after multiple flubs.

The Mavericks, desperate for a center since letting Tyson Chandler walk twice, quickly lined up and secured a meeting. The two sides met, surely lavishing Whiteside with praise and telling him how he could become an offensive centerpiece in Dallas, an All-Star star, the face of the franchise and the man who saved the final seasons of Dirk Nowitzki’s distinguished career.

They met for apparently close to three hours.

Only hours later, this post popped up on Twitter with a short and sweet letter from Mr. Whiteside to his fans:

Without as much as leaving time to digest whatever exquisite meal he devoured with the Mavericks’ brass, Whiteside hardly allowed Dallas’ sales pitch to settle before he was already crawling back underneath his Heat bed sheets.

He didn’t need to think about it? Mull it over? Let a good night’s sleep clear his divided mind?

Nah. What’s the point when you’re mind is already made up? Hopefully the Mavericks crew that went to New York to sway one of the league’s few brimming big men got to take in a Broadway show.

Surely, they could not be amused by Whiteside’s act. At least DeAndre Jordan put himself, and everybody else, through the ringer before he high-tailed it back to the Los Angeles Clippers.

At best, Whiteside’s meeting with the Mavericks seems disingenuous. It’s hard to fathom that his mind wasn’t made up long ago when he writes in The Players’ Tribune that he’s been on eight teams, and he didn’t want to make it nine.

And, just maybe his mind was made up long ago, and the Dallas meeting was all for show.

The young center who will be paid $98 million over the next four years after making $980,000 last season, could have waited a day to announce his decision to at least give the illusion he was dealing with a some internal struggle.

Then he could have released his short letter in The Players’ Tribune, maybe with a line about this being the most difficult decision of his life, or how maybe he was even close to leaving until his heart tugged him back to Miami, and maybe even given a shoutout to Mavs and Co., for entertaining him in the wee hours in New York.

Oh well, young Whiteside got his. The Mavericks, meanwhile, must blow off another public snubbing.

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