Heat, Cavaliers & Others Could Push ‘Overheated’ Trade Market for Jazz Wing

Malik Beasley, Jazz

Getty Malik Beasley, Jazz

He has been a staple of the trade-rumor mill for two years now, and he’s mired in a rough, month-long slump that has caused his shooting percentages to shrink, but around the league Malik Beasley occupies a special place as we careen toward the February 9 NBA trade deadline: He is a relatively young (26) wing on a good contract ($16.5 million option for next season) who is at least a decent defender and, most important, can be available in a deal.

“It is a thin market,” one Eastern Conference executive told Heavy Sports this week. “You are going to have to overpay because there are not a ton of guys you can go out and get. A guy like (Beasley), if you need shooting and you have a pick you can put in a trade, he is a guy you can get. The market for him could get overheated because he’s a wing. He is not a great defender but he is not a guy you need to take off the floor because of defense in the playoffs. If he gets hot, he can win you some games. A lot of playoff teams are trying to figure out what it is going to take to get him.”

As of now, the cost is something in the range of a first-round pick, a young player and whatever salary ballast is needed. The Jazz, according to sources around the league, have been willing to accept salary that goes beyond this season, if they feel they can re-package those players for another first-round pick next year, much as Oklahoma City has done with players like Chris Paul and Al Horford.

That could put Beasley within reach of a handful of playoff teams.

Miami, which has set its potential trade net far and wide as the deadline nears, is among them, with a possible bigger deal that would send both Beasley and former Heat big guy Kelly Olynyk to Miami for a package built around Duncan Robinson, Caleb Martin and a combination of picks and young players (though Miami remains reluctant to put rookie Nikola Jokic in any deals, a stance that could change as the deadline approaches.)

“The Heat are looking to get bigger obviously but they’re looking to get better all over the roster,” one league source told Heavy Sports. “They’re trying every angle. Their shooting has been a major disappointment, they need guys who can make shots there.”

Eastern Conference Contenders in the Beasley Mix

Cleveland, also looking for veteran wing depth, is said to be weighing an offer that would bring in Beasley as part of a three-way deal that would put John Collins in Utah and Caris LeVert, who is in the final year of his contract, in Atlanta.

The Bucks are also said to have interest in Beasley, though Milwaukee can’t trade a first-rounder until 2029. Brooklyn, too, would like to bring in Beasley if it can move Seth Curry or Joe Harris, but the Nets are decidedly thin on draft capital, and can’t deal a pick until 2028.

“He is probably on the top of the list for the Nets,” the executive said. “But easier said than done.”

The Celtics nearly pulled off a deal for Beasley last winter, but instead used the pieces they would need in that pursuit to get Derrick White and, later, Malcolm Brogdon. If the Celtics add a wing at this year’s deadline, it will be a cheaper option than Beasley, likely involving the contract of Danilo Gallinari and point guard Payton Pritchard.

Warriors, Pelicans Are Darkhorses

One other team worth watching: The Pelicans, who are seeking more shooting before the deadline. New Orleans is armed with young trade chips (Jaxson Hayes, Kira Lewis), moveable salaries (De’Vonte Graham and Garrett Temple) and draft picks (all their own first-rounders plus a first-rounder from the Lakers in the next three years and from Milwaukee in 2027).

Then there are, of course, the Warriors, who have signaled they won’t be very active at the deadline—though many around the league believe that will change. The Warriors need help up front, but there is some panic within the organization about the fact that the team’s bench has just not come together this year. Ownership remains reluctant to break up the young trio of James Wiseman, Moses Moody and Jonathan Kuminga, but some strong internal voices could force a rethink on that.

Who? Easy: “Steph Curry,” the executive said. “If he says to ownership, ‘You’ve got to get some help for right now, not for down the road,’ then that will go a long way. There’s only a few players you absolutely have to listen to, and Steph is one. Beasley would be a good bench piece for them if they wanted to trade off one of the young guys.”

But any team interested in Beasley has a hurdle to clear—the Jazz could simply keep Beasley and use him as offseason trade bait if nothing materializes before the deadline. The consensus around the league is that the need for wing depth will push someone to make the Jazz an acceptable offer for Beasley, but as the league source said, “It could be a quiet deadline, there could be a lot of disappointed teams out there.”

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