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ASK IRA: Would Bradley Beal be a game-changer for the Heat?

Sun Sentinel logoSun Sentinel 8/24/2019 By Ira Winderman, Sun Sentinel

Q: I'm not totally sold on Bradley Beal as a game-changing talent since he and John Wall never made the Wizards bona-fide contenders. I look at Beal as an exact replica of DeMar DeRozan, who only carried the Raptors so far. DeRozan is an excellent player, but Kawhi Leonard is on another level. To me Miami has Jimmy Butler, so the question is who compliments him the best? Beal is another shooting guard. Perhaps Anthony Davis in case LeBron James shows his age and Kyle Kuzma reverts to his draft status. I feel Justise Winslow would benefit from Butler's no-nonsense influence. I feel the best approach is wait until December, when the team has a chance to evaluate where it stands. The Heat already made significant moves, so let's digest those first before proceeding further. Let's count how many new faces: Butler, Meyers Leonard, Tyler Herro, KZ Okpala, Kendrick Nunn. That's a handful already to evaluate. The staff has its hands full finding out as much as possible about them. -- Leonard, Cornelius, N.C.

A: And yet I doubt the Heat would allow the development of others to stand in the way of acquiring a running partner for Jimmy Butler, especially as his contract clicks along at more than $30 million per season. But your point about Bradley Beal is a cogent one, on a pair of levels: First, if you truly believe he is an Alpha, then where would that leave Butler? And, on the other hand, if Beal is something less than a leading man, then why load up at a similar position? And yet, when given the opportunity to play alongside a talented big man such as Karl-Antony Towns, it simply did not work out the way Jimmy envisioned in Minnesota. So, yes, you get elite talent whenever available. But I agree that the fit also must be taken into consideration.

Q: It seems the Heat's roster is set for now, but as the season progresses more players may come available. I could see scenarios where Bradley Beal, Blake Griffin, D'Angelo Russell, and LaMarcus Aldridge are available on the trade market during the season. Who is the most realistic target for the Heat, and if it was up to you, which of those guys would your preferred option (or none of them, instead waiting for free agency in 2021 while keeping your assets)? -- Chris, Gainesville.

A: As mentioned above, it is difficult to wait in light of the money being spent at the moment on Jimmy Butler. And I'm also not sure that any of the names you mentioned will shake free in the short term. But considering there is a history of interest with LaMarcus Aldridge, that could be an intriguing pairing, if the Heat and Spurs could define a price that is right.

Q: If the Heat want something, they will get it, just like Jimmy Butler. -- D.M.

A: If they have the assets. They already are lacking draft assets, especially in light of having to sacrifice yet another first-round pick in order to make the Jimmy Butler math work. So it comes down to how much you are you willing to part with from the group of Bam Adebayo, Justise Winslow and Tyler Herro? And, of course, how other teams view such assets.

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