The Miami Heat believe they need one more superstar to legitimately compete for an NBA Championship.
Despite being just two wins away from winning it all this past season, most sports books have Miami listed behind the Los Angeles Lakers, Los Angeles Clippers, Milwaukee Bucks, Brooklyn Nets and Boston Celtics as far as 2021 title contenders go.
One additional superstar to pair up with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo would instantly catapult the Heat into top two or top three territory.
Who could that superstar be?
Reigning two-time NBA MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo is obviously the first choice for Miami. However, if that doesn’t work out, the franchise already has a Plan B in place.
That Plan B? Bradley Beal.
Sarah Fuller went off on her teammates on Saturday. She hopes it earned her some respect. https://t.co/MxZllxpB75
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 30, 2020
According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Heat will immediately switch focus to Beal should Antetokounmpo re-sign with Milwaukee.
“If Giannis Antetokounmpo signs a max extension with the Bucks, Washington guard Bradley Beal becomes the No. 1 Heat target if or when he becomes available,” Jackson said. “The Heat’s interest remains very high, according to a source with direct knowledge.”
As noted by Jackson, any potential deal for Beal would likely include Tyler Herro, either Duncan Robinson or Precious Achiuwa, and a future first-rounder. It also wouldn’t be particularly surprising to see Andre Iguodala get packaged in some capacity, should the opportunity arise.
Kendall Jenner hears the jokes.https://t.co/YifQexZUPA
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 30, 2020
Beal’s status with the Washington Wizards is currently in a state of flux. Although he has not publicly demanded a trade yet, it is very clear that the organization has failed him up to this point.
Last season Beal was snubbed when it came to making an All-NBA Team despite posting career highs with 30.5 points and 6.5 assists per outing. In the process, he became the first player since 1982 to average 30 points per game and still not make the cut.
Mind you, when this happened to Adrian Dantley more than 25 years ago, there were only two All-NBA teams, not three like today. Plus, Beal also now owns the highest points per game average for a player left off All-NBA since Bob McAdoo put up 31.1 points per outing back in 1975.
Truly special. https://t.co/vwbPwzY73j
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 29, 2020
Beal can keep being great, but if the Wizards continue to be godawful, his star will keep getting dimmed as a result of it.
That would all change in Miami.
Under Erik Spoelstra’s tutelage and alongside two versatile talents like Butler and Adebayo, Beal could legitimately thrive in a way he hasn’t in Washington.
The lesson here: actions have consequences. https://t.co/aVhdqhCxfN
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 27, 2020
That being said, at the moment, Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard is saying all the right things about retaining Beal.
“He’s a tremendous human being,” he told Zach Lowe of ESPN recently. “He’s a tremendous player. He’s exactly what we want to have here with the Washington Wizards.”
However, according to John Hollinger of The Athletic, there is a very good chance Sheppard will shift from that position if the Wizards struggle in the early going.
Things are getting interesting in D.C. https://t.co/HDttOQbckG
— Game 7 (@game7__) November 26, 2020
“The status quo is that the Wizards will play this out with the Wall-Beal combo and see if a rejuvenated, post-surgery Wall can let bygones be bygones and push them back to the playoffs,” he wrote.
“That’s all well and good, but let’s see what happens when live bullets start flying. A slow start in Washington might cause a situational re-evaluation from all sides.”
Will the Heat be able to snag Beal away from Washington? Time will tell.