The Miami Heat were a piece or two away from serious title contention this past season and were one win away from reaching the Eastern Conference Finals. It was a tough season for the Heat, but they have to be happy with what they accomplished. Looking ahead to free agency, Pat Riley is hoping to make some moves.
There are a few free agents that the Heat will target, headlined by Kevin Durant. Assuming the Heat are unable to convince Durant to sign with them ahead of all the other teams trying to sign him, there is on particular free agent that the Heat could pursue.
John Buhler of FanSided opined that the Heat are one of the top landing spots for Bradley Beal and it wouldn’t be surprising to see them throw an offer his way. Washington will have the right to match any offer that Beal receives, but the Heat could choose to sign him to a deal anyway.
Beal would be a huge pickup for the Heat and would give them the scoring and shooting threat that they were in desperate need of last season. He has dealt with some injury issues throughout his career, but he is one of the more underrated shooting guards in the league when he’s healthy. Every indication is that the Wizards will match any offer given to him, but they have other options to consider in free agency too.
Last season with the Wizards, Beal ended up averaging 17.4 points, 3.4 rebounds and 2.9 assists per game. He shot 44.9 percent from the field overall and knocked down 38.7 percent from the three-point arc.
At 22-years-old, there is no telling what Beal’s future holds. He still has a lot of potential to grow into, but hasn’t shown a ton of growth throughout his first four seasons. Beal has improved as a scorer, but he needs to find a way to improve as a creator for his teammates and as a leader.
Miami would immediately rise in the Eastern Conference if they could bring in a sharpshooter like Beal.
Riley has always been known for being willing to spend money in free agency. He will not shy away from signing a restricted free agent like Beal with the hope that the Wizards won’t match. His health problems and the bulk of other free agents the Wizards could target with the money of a Beal offer sheet could make them consider letting him walk.
All of that being said, Miami also has to make sure that they re-sign Dwyane Wade. They will attempt to re-sign big man Hassan Whiteside, although that will not be an easy task.
There is a good chance that Beal will have other teams interested in signing him to a max offer sheet as well. His age makes him a very attractive option on the free agent market. Miami will have to be aggressive very early on in free agency if they want to have any chance at signing Beal.
Expect to hear a lot of rumors surrounding both Beal and the Heat as free agency draws closer and gets underway. There is going to be a lot of money being spent this offseason and there are a lot of big names to keep an ear open for. Beal may not be considered to be in the top echelon of free agents, but he should be.
Do you think the Miami Heat should try to sign Bradley Beal when free agency opens up this offseason? Would he be the type of piece that can help lead them back to serious championship contention? Let us know your thoughts in the comment box below!
[AP Photo/John Raoux]