Since the successful acquisition of Jimmy Butler in the 2019 NBA free agency period, the Miami Heat have been active on the trade market searching for their second superstar. Though Bam Adebayo has already blossomed into an All-Star caliber player in the 2019-20 season, the team arguably needs more star power in order to have a better chance of dominating the Eastern Conference and winning a title. In the past months, the Heat have already been linked to several superstars who are expected to be available on the trade market and in free agency, including Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards.
Beal and the Wizards may not be expected to part ways in the 2020 NBA offseason but if they underperform once again in the 2020-21 NBA season, they may finally think it’s time for them to end their partnership. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat may consider targeting Beal in the summer of 2021 if they fail to acquire reigning MVP and Milwaukee Bucks power forward Giannis Antetokounmpo in free agency. Jackson revealed that the shooting guard holds the Heat “in high regard” and “considered” them before he agreed to sign a contract extension with the Wizards last summer.
“This would require a trade, because he cannot opt out until the summer of 2022. Beal has repeatedly said he’s committed to the Wizards, but expressed frustration with losing last season and told me that he considered the Heat before committing long-term to Washington last October. He holds the Heat in high regard. Whether he demands a trade will hinge in large part on whether the Wizards are more competitive next season, with the return of John Wall. And even if they’re not, the Wizards could rebuff any Beal trade request until sometime during the 2021-22 season.”
Beal may not be on the same tier as Antetokounmpo, but he would still be a good addition to the Heat, giving them their third All-Star alongside Butler and Adebayo. This potential acquisition could improve the team’s performance, especially on the offensive end of the floor. This season, the 26-year-old is averaging 30.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.
With the years he spent with John Wall in Washington, Beal has learned how to excel even without the ball in his hands, making him an intriguing fit alongside a ball-dominant superstar like Butler. Pairing Beal with Butler and Adebayo wouldn’t only help the Heat potentially conquer the Eastern Conference, but it could also give them a realistic chance of bringing home the Larry O’Brien Trophy to South Beach.
To acquire Beal, the Heat would likely have to make an offer the Wizards can’t refuse. In the potential blockbuster deal that would send Beal to Miami, Washington is expected to demand at least two of the Heat’s young players and multiple first-round picks.