Bradley Beal could be on the move soon, and the Miami Heat are in advanced conversations to land the three-time All-Star, according to ESPN and The Athletic reports. To break down the latest buzz, the All U Can Heat staff got together to chat about Beal, Damian Lillard and other offseason wishlist items.
Word is the Miami Heat could be the likeliest trade destination for Bradley Beal. Do you think Beal, Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo would make the Heat favorites in the East next season?
Azam Masood: I wouldn’t call Miami overwhelming favorites, but they would solidly be in the contender tier.
Noah Decker: There are many strong teams in the East who deserve credit and respect, such as Milwaukee, Boston, and Philadelphia. Acquiring Beal would make the Heat a strong contender, but I wouldn’t say it would make them the favorites. However, that is not a big deal for Miami. They have proven this season that they perform best when they are counted out.
Wes Goldberg: A triumvirate of Butler, Adebayo and Beal makes a lot of complementary sense on paper, and Beal knows what it’s like to be the No. 1 scoring option on a team. Having him take the most shots would allow Butler and Adebayo to focus more on the other things they do so well on both ends of the court. Considering that the Heat are the reigning champs of the East and the futures of teams like the Celtics, Bucks and 76ers are cloudy, I think the Heat would have to be considered among the top teams in the conference.
Would you trade Tyler Herro for Beal?
Azam: If the decision is ultimately Herro for Beal without throwing financial or draft considerations into the mix, then without hesitation. In reality, those variables must be considered, and I’d still try to make the move happen. Beal is a true three-level scorer who can play on and off the ball, and has the capacity to be a capable defender.
Noah: If the goal is to win now (which it should be), then yes. While Herro has shown star potential, Beal is a more complete scoring star right now. In his last two healthy seasons, Beal has averaged over 30 points per game. Imagine what the Heat could have done with that added scoring boost in these playoffs. Tyler Herro is one of Miami’s best players for the future, but his absence paired with the team’s success in these last two postseasons has made Herro expendable.
Wes: I would not. Herro’s upside is too high and his contract is much easier to build around than Beal’s. He’s younger, cheaper, and averaged just three points per game less than Beal, who will turn 30 at the end of the month and hasn’t played more than 60 games in four seasons. That said, it does not appear that the Heat will have to include Herro in a Beal trade, since the Wizards reportedly prefer short-term contracts and future cap space. A package of Kyle Lowry and either Victor Oladipo or Duncan Robinson, plus some draft compensation, is the package currently being discussed, per the Miami Herald and South Florida Sun-Sentinel.
There’s also the concept of Beal AND Damian Lillard. Knowing that it would probably cost a lot to get both guys, is it worth it? Or would you rather have one of Beal/Lillard and a fuller supporting cast?
Azam: I would much rather get only one of the players and a supporting cast around them than try to build a Big Four. Acquiring both Beal and Lillard and building a workable roster (which would end up being nothing but minimum salary players) is likely even beyond the cap wizardry of Andy Elisburg, and we’ve seen enough from this core to know that a Jimmy Butler-led Heat team works much better as a group that has something to prove versus a glitz-and-glamor favorite.
Noah: A fantastic four featuring Butler, Bam, Beal, and Dame sounds like a lot of fun. Being realistic, it would make depth a serious issue. I would prefer to have one of either Beal or Lillard with a solid supporting cast. We saw how important guys like Caleb Martin and Duncan Robsinson were in these playoffs. The Heat still need guys like that to win a championship. Out of the two, I would prefer to have Lillard, considering his overall skillset and the size of Beal’s contract. That being said, I would be happy to have either player.
Wes: Damian Lillard is my No. 1 pick if I could add any star to this roster. His spacing, scoring and killer instinct are perfect fits for what the Heat need. Him running pick-and-roll with Bam Adebayo would be Steph/Draymond (or even Murray/Jokic) level of awesome. Obviously it could cost a lot – and there’s no indication right now that Portland is ready to discuss Lillard trades – but if you can get Lillard, you do it.
Besides Beal and Lillard, what player would you like to see the Heat target this offseason?
Azam: I desperately want Miami to find a true starting power forward. Toggling between Caleb Martin and Kevin Love all postseason just showed how deficient Miami was at that spot (even as the two players had their moments). Nikola Jokic found his perfect frontcourt mate in Aaron Gordon and that helped Denver win a title; Bam Adebayo absolutely deserves the same. I would love if Miami could get someone like OG Anunoby in a trade since their options in free agency are extremely limited between the player pool and them already being an over-the-cap team.
Noah: Brook Lopez. The way he has transformed his game over the last few seasons has been remarkable. He has become a very reliable 3 and D player. Miami struggled at certain points this postseason with being undersized. Lopez would give them more flexibility in that area, and his ability to stretch the floor would even allow him to play alongside Bam Adebayo. Miami would have great rim protection with both on the floor. Plus, it is always nice to pry away key players from the Milwaukee Bucks, who might be preparing to shake up their roster a bit this offseason.
Wes: High-end free against aren’t an option since the Heat are in the luxury tax, so we’re talking about trade targets here. I’ve long been of the opinion that the Heat should trade for Atlanta’s John Collins. He’s big, athletic and can shoot 3s. Though it’s been a couple of underwhelming years for him in Atlanta, there’s a chance that a change of scenery and a winning organization could help him clean up the finer parts of his game. I think he could be the next Andrew Wiggins or Aaron Gordon – a superb athlete who needs the right context to thrive. Plus, it probably wouldn’t cost Miami a ton to get him, so it could be worth a flier. If it works out, the Heat would have their long-term answer at power forward.