The chances of the Miami Heat making a trade took a severe hit when Tyler Herro showed up on the injury report with neck spasms. The 21-year-old guard is believed to be the key piece in any potential package. But that hasn’t quieted the rumor mill and it probably won’t anytime soon.
There are multiple reports out there linking the Heat to two-time All-Star guard Bradley Beal. The Ringer‘s Kevin O’Connor has repeatedly said Miami “really wants” Beal in a trade while the Miami Herald‘s Barry Jackson cited sources saying the Heat have a “high level of interest” in him. The Washington Wizards star has been playing at an insane pace this season and leads the NBA in scoring at 34.9 points per game.
While the 27-year-old shooting guard hasn’t requested a trade, there is a growing sense around the league that the cellar-dwelling Wizards (3-8) may look to move him ahead of the March 25 trade deadline. Beal signed a two-year, $72 million extension last year with Washington and it gives him the option to become a free agent in the summer of 2022.
“I signed my deal and structured it to where I had some flexibility because, at the end of the day, I still want to win. And the organization has to show me that we want to win,“ Beal said at the time, via Slam Online. “I want to see what John [Wall] is like as well. So there’s always going to be hope in that direction. But you still want to be able to protect yourself and kind of be selfish in that regard. How can I create some type of flexibility for myself if we aren’t winning? If I do choose to get out?”
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Oladipo May Want Out, Better Fit for Miami
Remember, the 28-year-old is part-owner of a Miami gym and counts Jimmy Butler as a friend. He is averaging 22.3 points per game since being traded to Houston on Jan. 13. Bleacher Report recently listed Miami as “buyers” at the trade deadline and mentioned Oladipo as a “significantly cheaper option” over Beal.
But Victor Oladipo, who “hopes to find himself in Miami,” per O’Connor, should be significantly cheaper given his uncertain future as an impending free agent and recent injury history. Adding him now would also give the Heat his Bird rights and make it easier to re-sign him this summer. At the very least, Miami seems likely to pursue a frontcourt upgrade, but it has enough trade assets to chase a bigger target, too.
Not only that but he has gone on record about wanting to win championships more than collecting individual awards. That philosophy is right in line with the “Heat Culture” and seems to indicate he’d be more than willing to share the spotlight with Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo.
“Anybody who knows me, I’m all about winning,” Oladipo said, via Yahoo! Sports. “And I feel like that’s what you’re defined as in this game. A lot of people say they don’t play for the money. But that’s what I live and breathe by. I just want to be the greatest. I want people to talk, to have my name amongst the greats. And in order to that, you’ve got to get rings. You’ve got to have trophies.”
Lonzo Ball to Miami in Crazy Deal?
NBA Analysis Network proposed one more crazy trade scenario that would send Lonzo Ball and J.J. Redick to South Beach. It might be hard to negotiate considering the Heat don’t have a first-round pick to give up until 2025.
League rules prevent teams from having picks in consecutive drafts and they have already traded picks in 2021 and 2023. Perhaps a package of Kendrick Nunn, Kelly Olynyk, and Andre Iguodala (and a second-rounder) would be enough to pry Ball and Redick away? They might do it just to dump salary.
The Heat have been unwilling to part with young guards Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson, so this might be a way to skirt that issue. Any potential package for Beal or Oladipo would no doubt contain one or maybe both of those players.