The Miami Heat put themselves in a win-now mode when they acquired All-Star forward Jimmy Butler in a sign-and-trade deal with the Philadelphia 76ers this summer. The addition of Butler to the Heat is expected to boost their performance on both ends of the floor in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, it most likely won’t be enough to help Miami fully dominate the Eastern Conference and win an NBA championship title. If they are serious about bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy to South Beach, they should prioritize pairing Butler with other NBA superstars.
As of now, one of the players who is being frequently linked to the Heat is Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards. Beal is yet to become officially available on the trade market, but if he decides to leave the Wizards next summer, an “associate” who spoke to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald revealed that the Heat are expected to “receive serious consideration” from the All-Star shooting guard.
Beal would be an incredible addition to the Heat, giving them another All-Star caliber player who can efficiently knock down shots from beyond the arc. In the 82 games he played last season, Beal posted incredible numbers, averaging 25.6 points, 5.0 rebounds, 5.5 assists, and 1.5 steals while shooting 47.5 percent from the field and 35.1 percent from beyond the arc. And with the years he spent with John Wall in Washington, Beal definitely won’t have a hard time building good chemistry with a ball-dominant superstar like Jimmy Butler.
— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) July 22, 2019
In a separate article, Miami Herald‘s Jackson explained how Kelly Olynyk could play a major role in the Heat’s pursuit of Beal in the 2020 NBA offseason.
“And if Kelly Olynyk decides, next May or June, to opt out of the $13.6 million he’s owed in 2020-21, the Heat will be in position to potentially become a bank for the first time in many years. And in the process, the Heat would have a chance to gain a valuable draft asset that could either be used to select a young player or placed in a deal to acquire an All-Star-caliber player such as Bradley Beal, if Washington makes him available.”
If Olynyk establishes an impressive performance in the 2019-20 NBA season, it is highly likely that he will consider opting out of the final year of his contract and test his luck in the weak 2020 NBA free agency class. If Olynyk becomes a free agent, the Heat could create salary cap space that could be used to absorb bad contracts in exchange for future draft picks. As Jackson noted, the Heat could then use those assets as trade chips for players like Bradley Beal, should they become available on the trade market.
However, there are still plenty of things that could happen before the 2020 NBA offseason. As of now, the Wizards haven’t shown any indication that they plan to trade Beal and undergo a full-scale rebuild. The Wizards recently offered Beal a three-year, $111 million contract extension, but the All-Star shooting guard has yet to decide whether he will sign the deal or test the free agency market in the summer of 2021.