While the start of the 2020-2021 NBA season has been rocky and uneven for the Miami Heat, it’s been absolutely dreadful for the Washington Wizards, who are now 1-5 after finally nabbing their first win against the Minnesota Timberwolves on January 1.
However, long before Washington’s rough start to the new season, in 2019, Wizards star Bradley Beal signed a two-year $71.8 million contract extension. While that deal keeps the NBA All-Star in Washington through 2021, Beal structured the deal to include a player option for the second season.
The 27-year-old former first-round pick out of Florida explained on JJ Redick’s podcast that he kept the 2022-2023 season open to keep Washington on their toes. “You still want to be able to protect yourself and kinda be selfish,” Beal said. “How can I create some type of flexibility for myself if we aren’t winning, if I do choose to get out?”
After the Wizards traded John Wall for Russell Westbrook, it seemed Washington now had all the tools be unstoppable going into 2020 season, but quite the opposite has happened. And if Beal wants to exercise his option, the Miami Heat could be the perfect fit.
Aside from the fact that his talents could easily gel with the Heat’s backcourt, the Heat have $30 million in cap space to use next summer, which matches Beal’s current $28.8 million salary this season.
Beal Would Be Way Cheaper Than James Harden
Rumors concerning James Harden‘s possible trade to the Heat have filled the news over the past few weeks. While multiple outlets revealed that Miami was “pushing hard” to acquire the former MVP from the Houston Rockets, multiple outlets reported that the Heat was no longer pursuing the trade.
On December 31, ESPN’s Brian Windhorst said, “The Heat leaked that they’re out of the Harden sweepstakes probably because they’re trying to cool down the race for Harden. They don’t want Boston and Philly thinking they’re bidding against them.”
Harden signed a four-year $171,131,520 contract with the Rockets, which includes $171,131,520 guaranteed, and an annual average salary of $42,782,880. In 2020-2021, Harden will earn a base salary of $41,254,920.
When the Rockets offered him a two-year $103 million contract extension, an addition to the $132.9 million he’s owed from the three years remaining on his current contract, Harden said no.
Tyler Herro & Duncan Robinson Would Be on the Trade Block If Harden Deal Materializes
If Harden to Heat becomes a true possibility, it won’t come cheap, and Miami would have to let go of some of their young talent. According to Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald, the Rockets would want “significantly more” than Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson in a trade. The Heat would likely have to mull over also giving up Goran Dragic and Andrea Iguodala.
Windhorst laid out the chances of the Heat making a trade for Harden on his latest podcast. “I think the Miami Heat could make a trade for him,” Windhorst said. “They (the Rockets) probably want Herro and Robinson. Robinson’s an awfully valuable player… But I don’t see if you watch how the Heat play, the Heat play high ball movement, high player movement offense. It would be such a dramatic change of style for the Heat.”
Robinson, a key guard for the Heat is on the trade block as the team works to make a deal to acquire the Houston Rockets star, as reported by 5 Reasons Sports on December 17.
“We can report at Five Reasons Sports — from multiple league sources — that the inclusion of Duncan Robinson is a major sticking point in the [Heat’s] pursuit of Rockets guard James Harden,” Ethan J. Skolnick tweeted.
As for Beal, the Heat could hold on to both Herro and Robinson, according to The Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman: “When it comes to matching salaries in a trade, Beal earns $28.8 million this season (a simple Heat match with some combination of the salaries of Leonard, Kelly Olynyk, Andre Iguodala) and then $33.7 million next season (with the Heat with as much as $30 million in cap space to play with next summer).”