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Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside voices displeasure over lack of minutes, touches

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The Miami Heat, desperate to improve their playoff positioning in the Eastern Conference, played a small lineup down the stretch of Saturday’s 110-109 overtime loss to Brooklyn. It is not the first time they have done so this season.

Hassan Whiteside wants it to be the last.

The seven-foot big man, who leads the team in rebounds and blocks per contest, voiced extreme displeasure with his lack of involvement in the Heat’s late-game strategy on Saturday night. He dubbed the pattern “bulls—” to several reporters while touting his own credentials as reason enough to ignore matchup issues with other teams.

“Man, it’s annoying, you know,” Whiteside said to Tim Reynolds of the Associated Press. “Why we matching up? We got one of the best centers in the league. Why we matchuing up? A lot of teams don’t have a good center… It’s bulls—. It’s really bulls—, man. There’s a lot of teams that could use a center.”

Whiteside is one of just three players in the league to average a double-double in less than 30 minutes per contest this season. His usage rate of 24.5 percent, however, ranks fifth among all players averaging double-doubles this season — more than Denver’s Nikola Jokic, Minnesota’s Karl-Anthony Towns and Utah’s Rudy Gobert.

The Heat have succeeded this season with a committee-like approach on offense, with nine different players averaging double-figures in points per game. Whiteside, however, ranks 11th on the team in fourth-quarter minutes per contest, and has seen action in just 29 fourth quarters this season out of the 48 total games he has played. He is under contract with the Heat through the 2018-19 season, with a player option for the following year.



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Report: Pau Gasol to join Trail Blazers

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Free agent center Pau Gasol has agreed to a one-year deal with the Portland Trail Blazers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Gasol, 39, who was limited to just 30 games last season because of a variety of injuries, has career averages of 17.0 points and 9.2 rebounds over 17 NBA seasons.



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Report: Furkan Korkmaz returning to 76ers

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Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, according to ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski.

Free agent forward Furkan Korkmaz has agreed to a two-year contract to return to the Philadelphia 76ers, agent Mike Lindeman of Excel Sports tells ESPN.

Korkmaz, 21, brings back a rotational forward with the ability to spread the floor with his shooting. The loss of JJ Redick in free agency – and Kyle Korver’s decision to choose Milwaukee over Philadelphia – brought some increased urgency to keep Korkmaz on the Sixers roster.

 The 21-year-old Korkmaz, who was the 26th overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft, averaged 5.8 points and 2.2 rebounds in 14.1 minutes last season.

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Report: Kevin Love to withdraw from World Cup

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Cavaliers forward Kevin Love is the latest player expected to withdraw from Team USA’s training camp for the FIBA World Cup, according to The Athletic’s Shams Charania.

This news comes just one day after Damian Lillard reportedly withdrew from the World Cup. Love, who played in just 22 games last season because of a shoulder injury, averaged 17.0 points and 10.9 rebounds in 2018-19.

During the previous two weeks, James Harden, Anthony Davis, Eric Gordon, Zion Williamson and CJ McCollum reportedly decided not to compete in the World Cup this year.

Although the guard ranks will be somewhat depleted of NBA stars, Team USA continues to have a deep pool of players available.



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