Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards intend to work together to find a trade that could send the three-time All-Star guard to a contender, and the Miami Heat are expected to be in the mix, sources told ESPN and The Athletic.
Here’s what we know so far.
- Beal, 29, is owed $46.7 million next season, and more than $160 million in the three years after that. He will make $57.1 million when he is 33 years old.
- Part of his contract includes a no-trade clause, which gives him say of where he is traded. According to ESPN, the clause “gives him the ability to control not only possible destinations but also how a potential package to acquire Beal impacts his ability to play for a contender elsewhere.”
- In other words, Beal can help keep the price to acquire him down so that he can join a team capable of contending. As ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said Wednesday, “If Bradley Beal gets traded between now and next Thursday, I think people are going to be very surprised at the price and potentially how low it’s going to be because his contract is not attractive.”
- The Heat have the contracts to match Beal’s salary and can trade up to thee future first-round picks, plus the No. 18 pick in next Thursday’s draft.
- For example, the Heat could package together the expiring deals of Kyle Lowry ($29.6 million) and Victor Oladipo ($9.5 million), plus either Caleb Martin ($6.8 million) or Nikola Jovic ($2.3 million) and Haywood Highsmith ($1.9 million) and create enough salary to match Beal’s incoming contract.
- Another option could be Tyler Herro ($27 million) and Duncan Robinson ($18.1 million).
- Other teams that could be involved in Beal include the Milwaukee Bucks, Boston Celtics and New York Knicks.
- The Heat have a working relationship with Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, who helped facilitate the sign-and-trade that brought Lowry to Miami two summers ago. The Heat have been linked to Beal in the past, but this is the first indication in Beal’s 11 seasons that the Wizards will consider moving him.
- How much Beal is worth is an interesting question. He is two years removed from averaging 30 points in back to back seasons, but his numbers have dropped to 23 points per game over the last two seasons. He’s a career 37% 3-point shooter with some playmaking chops and a reliable midrange game. He also hasn’t played more than 60 games in four years.
- Would a trio of Beal, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo be enough to make the Heat an Eastern Conference favorite?
- Or, would this be the first of more superstar moves for the Heat. There’s a sense that Miami’s front office could be on the hunt for not one, but two star additions this summer. We outlined the reasons why here, but what if Damian Lillard and Portland decided to part ways, or another high-end player that fills a need becomes available? The Heat could, theoretically, have enough matching salary and assets to get something that like done.
- Such a blockbuster offseason would result in an incredibly expensive luxury tax bill going forward (minimum of $193 million in payroll, plus a tax bill of $90 million next season, per the Miami Herald), but so would only adding Beal (although not quite as expensive). These are the questions and concerns facing the Heat front office over the coming days, weeks and months.