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Hassan Whiteside gets $98M to stay in Miami

By The Sports Xchange
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) scores over the defense of Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) in the first half at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2016. Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | <a href="/News_Photos/lp/67b33d9e20413be905746d31db4a6cd1/" target="_blank">License Photo</a>
Miami Heat center Hassan Whiteside (21) scores over the defense of Washington Wizards center Marcin Gortat (13) in the first half at the Verizon Center in Washington, D.C. on January 3, 2016. Photo by Mark Goldman/UPI | License Photo

Hassan Whiteside returned to the Miami Heat on the first day of NBA free agency, agreeing to terms on a four-year, $98 million contract.

Whiteside, who played internationally and bounced around the developmental league before blossoming with the Heat, made $980,000 with the Heat last season.

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"I played on eight teams since college," Whiteside told the Players Tribune on Friday. "I'm not ready for their to be a ninth."

The Heat had the first meeting with Whiteside at the open of free agency on Friday at 12:01 a.m. and reiterated he was key to their future success. Dallas met with the 7-footer shortly after the Heat and Whiteside posted pictures to snapchat in the early morning hours of Friday indicating a decision would be made in the morning.

Vice president Pat Riley said Whiteside was the team's top priority even as talks with 34-year-old shooting guard Dwyane Wade fell apart late last week. Riley said Wade, the pillar of Miami's successful run since he was drafted in 2003, is still coveted by the Heat. Whether another team bumps Miami with a contract that trumps what the Heat might offer is to be determined.

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Whiteside was reportedly offered a five-year, $130 million max deal from the Mavericks.

He led the NBA with 3.4 blocks per game last season.

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