Southeast Notes: Beal, Sheppard, Riley, Bertans

27-year-old star Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal has become the clear second star target for the Heat behind reigning MVP Giannis Antetokounmpo, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

A two-time All-Star for Washington, Beal averaged 30.5 PPG, 6.1 APG, and 4.2 RPG for a depleted Wizards club last year. He also sported a great shooting slash line of .455/.353/.842. The Heat hope to have enough cap space to sign a max free agent in 2021. Though the Heat could offer a pricey contract extension to emergent All-Star power forward/center Bam Adebayo during the offseason, doing so now instead of waiting until the 2021 offseason could complicate their cap space next summer.

Beal won’t reach free agency until at least 2022, but the Heat have strong interest in trading for him if he expresses dissatisfaction in Washington and the Wizards make him available, according to Jackson, who says “all parties are aware of that.”

There’s more out of the NBA’s Southeast Division:

  • In a conversation for The Kevin Sheehan Show, Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard spoke about potentially trading injured point guard John Wall trade for frustrated Rockets All-Star point guard Russell Westbrook. “I think it’s fair to say we talk about every player on every team,” Sheppard said, as Ava Wallace of the Washington Post tweeted. “I wouldn’t dwell on it. I’m excited to have John Wall back, looking forward to having him in training camp.” Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington opines that the exploration of this move suggests a willingness by Sheppard to take chances in building his roster.
  • Wizards GM Sheppard made no bones about the most important free agent for his club, according to Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington (Twitter link). “(Power forward) Dāvis (Bertāns) is our free agency and we will add pieces afterwards,” Sheppard said.
  • When asked about his plans for the 2020/21 season, Heat team president Pat Riley appeared to indicate that he would be interested in retaining most of the team’s key free agents, per Tim Reynolds of The Associated Press (Twitter link). “I’d like to run this thing back,” Riley said.
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