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Bradley Beal ‘would welcome joining’ Miami. Does it matter?

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Beal may request a trade before Thursday’s NBA Draft.

Washington Wizards v Miami Heat Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images

Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report wrote today that “Bradley Beal is considering requesting a trade” prior to Thursday night’s NBA Draft. Fischer said that while Beal does not have a list of preferred destinations, “it was mentioned by multiple sources that he would welcome joining teams such as Boston, Golden State, Miami and Philadelphia.”

And now, we’re back to the same conundrum from past discussions surrounding James Harden and Damian Lillard — the Heat not holding the draft assets to make a competitive offer. It’s easy to see multiple teams on that list outbidding Miami. (Also relevant: the Heat don’t even have a pick in next week’s Draft.)

Aside from having their 2021 and 2023 first-round picks out the window, some of Miami’s young assets have seen their trade value drop since last off-season. Tyler Herro suffered through an injury-riddled sophomore season and lost his starting job to Kendrick Nunn. And though Nunn enjoyed a brief resurgence after his abysmal showing in the 2020 playoffs, his regression during the first-round sweep to the Milwaukee Bucks earlier this year didn’t help. Even Duncan Robinson’s 3-point percentage fell from 44.6 percent in 2019-20 to 40.8 percent.

Miami has reportedly coveted Beal since the 2019 off-season, when they pulled off the Jimmy Butler sign-and-trade but had to surrender their 2023 first-round pick. The former No. 3 pick can decline a player option and become a free agent next summer.

And therein lies the Heat’s best hope — that Beal tells the Wizards he won’t sign a contract with anyone but Miami. Other teams back off, not wanting to part with significant picks and players for a one-year rental. And Washington reluctantly trades Beal to the Heat.

For what it’s worth, I don’t think that would happen. Even knowing that Kawhi Leonard would leave after one season with the Toronto Raptors, the Raptors’ 2019 championship made the trade worth it. Another team would take that chance on Beal.