The Heat were reportedly prioritizing Giannis Antetokounmpo with Victor Oladipo as a backup plan in 2021 free agency.
But Antetokounmpo could sign his super-max extension with the Bucks. Oladipo just stated his commitment to the Pacers and has health concerns, though Miami could still be in play depending on contract negotiations.
The new apple of the Heat’s eye (after Antetokounmpo, of course)? Bradley Beal.
Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald:
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. The Heat’s interest remains very high, according to a source with direct knowledge.
The big difference between Antetokounmpo/Oladipo and Beal: Beal can’t become a free agent until 2022. Acquiring him before then would require a trade and sending assets to the Wizards.
Even on an expiring contract, Beal would hold immense value. There’s a dearth of quality wings around the league, and Beal is a star shooting guard in his prime who’d fit on any team. He shoots well from distance and has improved significantly as an attacker and distributor. He’s also capable of playing sound defense, though he didn’t last season.
Miami could offer an enticing trade package with Tyler Herro as the centerpiece – at least if the younger Herro doesn’t become too good to trade for Beal or regress too much from his breakout bubble performance. Still, other teams would make compelling offers, too. And Washington might just want to keep Beal.
Beal’s priority appears to be winning with the Wizards. But we’ll see how next season goes. It’s already off to a dicey start with John Wall reportedly requesting a trade. Beal has left the door open to leaving.
If he wants to join the Heat, Beal could threaten not to re-sign with other teams. He’d hold some sway in the situation.
So would Washington, though. So, there’s plenty of room for this plan to fall apart.
But it’s at least interesting to know what Miami – as attractive as ever – is thinking.