The Miami Heat has been linked to Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal for years, but after coming within one game of making it to the NBA Finals, the push to land a superstar like him went overdrive this offseason.In order to land Beal, the Heat’s biggest tradeable asset was their 2022 first-round pick. So, on Thursday, June 23, when the Heat kept their No. 27 overall pick to draft Serbian star Nikola Jovic, it seemed any hope of the Wizards’ three-time All-Star coming to Miami was DOA.But according to Bleacher Report’s Greg Swartz, there’s still a strong chance Beal leaves, especially after seeing the direction Washington took with their first-round draft pick, Johnny Davis.The latest Heat news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Heat newsletter here!
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The Wizards picked up the Wisconsin alum with their No. 10 overall pick, and while the 6-foot-5 guard is an aggressive defender who led his team in scoring last season, it will take time for him to develop as a true competitor at the NBA level.“This wasn’t a bad pick, but it could have an impact on Bradley Beal’s future with the franchise,” Swartz wrote. “ Davis isn’t a point guard. He averaged more turnovers (2.3) than assists (2.1) last season and shot just 42.7% overall. While the 20-year-old is a good defender and talented rebounder, that’s not what the Wizards need next to Beal.“Trading the pick in a deal for a win-now, proven point guard a la Malcolm Brogdon would have sent a far better message to Beal. Even picking up a player like De’Anthony Melton, who was traded from the Memphis Grizzlies to the Philadelphia 76ers for Danny Green and the No. 23 overall pick, would have been a big improvement for the Wizards.”If Beal is looking to make a run to the NBA title, “ Teams such as the Miami Heat and Memphis Grizzlies would offer a real chance at a championship next season and shouldn’t be worried about being hard-capped in a sign-and-trade,” Swartz added.Beal Would Take a Sizeable Pay Cut to Leave Washington via a Sign & Trade Deal
Bradley Beal on his future with Wizards:
“I know what my decision will be based off of, and that’s gonna be where I feel like I can win. That’s going to be my decision,”
(via @TaylorRooks) pic.twitter.com/bi8YCulZhb
— Legion Hoops (@LegionHoops) June 10, 2022
Earlier this month, Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, confronted Beal about his looming decision. “You could sign a five-year, $242 million deal if you stay with the Wizards,” Rooks states. “You go somewhere else, four-year $179 mill[ion], obviously big numbers but a difference. And that means you’re in a very rare position where you get to control what you do and where you go.”“These are great problems, so you can’t really make a wrong decision,” Beal says. “I’m blessed to be here.” While he admits, “There is some anxiety, and time is counting down… it’s fun to be in the position.”If Beal re-signs with the Wizards, he’ll own the biggest contract in NBA history, per Sportsnaut.com, but if he wants to win an NBA title, the clock is ticking for the 28-year-old guard.
“I wouldn’t pencil in Bradley Beal’s return to D.C. as a foregone conclusion…He’s still very much undecided and weighing all his options.”
(via @RealQuintonMayo) pic.twitter.com/fMvjzCAVNv
— Hoop Central (@TheHoopCentral) June 24, 2022
Swartz noted, “A sign-and-trade would cost Beal some significant money (he could max out at four years and $184 million), although it would allow him to become an unrestricted free agent again around his 33rd birthday with one more big deal likely to come.“For a player who’s already secured $180 million in NBA checks and will get a minimum of $184 million more over the next four years, Beal could actually turn down a max deal with the Wizards and push for a sign-and-trade to a contender instead.Beal appeared in just 40 games last season after undergoing surgery on his wrist in February. Before the season-ending injury, he averaged 23.2 points, 4.7 rebounds, and 6.6 assists per game. However, he’s expected to be back to full health when the 2022 NBA season starts.Beal Reveals His Biggest Fear Is Not Giving Himself the Chance to Win
Bradley Beal in a live interview with @TaylorRooks:
“My biggest fear is that I walk away from the game without giving myself a chance to win.”
ITS TIME.#HEATCulture pic.twitter.com/l6XJIC0BIQ
— Heat Lead (@HeatLead) June 9, 2022
In an interview with The Athletic published in June 18, Beal said he made up his mind about his playing future, but declined to disclose his decision,” Josh Robbins reported. Beal has only played for one franchise his entire career, so leaving Washington is not a decision he would make lightly.The 6-foot-4 guard told Rooks that even if he left the Wizards, there’s never any guarantee you’ll win a title. “Winning is hard. Obviously, you want to be in a position to be competing for a championship, but understanding how hard it is to win, puts a lot of things in perspective in terms of your future, where you wanna go, and who you wanna do it with.”As for his biggest fear, “If I didn’t give myself a chance to win,” Beal says. While “regret” is too strong is of a word, “You don’t wanna look 20 years down the line and think, ‘Damn, I wish.’”As of Friday, June 24, it’s still not entirely clear if the Wizards star will opt out, despite HoopsHype’s Michael Scotto’s report on June 21 that Beal would not remain in Washington. Scotto tweeted “Beal will decline his $36.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season and become an unrestricted free agent this summer.”
Wait huh? Lol
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) June 22, 2022
Later that evening, Beal appeared to respond to Scotto’s report with confusion. The 28-year-old guard tweeted, “Wait huh? Lol.”READ NEXT: 3 Eastern Conference Teams Interested in Signing Heat Forward: Report