Wizards guard Bradley Beal is committed to sticking with the team this season, but that didn’t stop the 27-year-old from giving high praise to Heat stars Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo earlier this week, Ira Winderman of the Sun Sentinel writes.
Beal led Washington to a 103-100 win over Miami on Wednesday, with the teams set to play again on Friday night. Both he and the Heat have been linked to each other in the past, as Miami has long been rumored to be eyeing the veteran in case he becomes available before the March 25 deadline.
“Jimmy is an unbelievable player,” Beal said. “He’s a star in our league, a true leader. It’s always competitive when we play. He always just wants to win, whatever it looks like.”
Beal also complimented Adebayo, singling out the 23-year-old’s unique ability to guard positions one-through-five. Winderman notes that Miami’s reported interest even caused some Heat fans to cheer for Beal, who finished with a game-high 32 points and eight rebounds in Wednesday’s game.
There’s more from the Southeast Division:
- Despite having a respectable season to date, Hornets forward Gordon Hayward may miss the cut of becoming an All-Star this season, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer. Hayward, who signed a four-year, $120MM deal to join the team in free agency, is holding per-game averages of 22.9 points (a career-high), 5.3 rebounds and 3.9 assists in 21 contests.
- Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington explores whether Wizards forward Troy Brown Jr. did enough in Wednesday’s game against Miami to earn more playing time. Brown, 21, finished with nine points and seven rebounds in 21 minutes off the bench, shooting 3-of-9 from the floor.
- The Hawks still haven’t solved their back-up point guard issue, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic opines. Atlanta has struggled without Trae Young on the floor this season, owning just a 10-12 record in their first 22 games. Offseason signings Rajon Rondo and Kris Dunn have both missed time due to injuries, with Rondo only playing in 13 of those games and Dunn not appearing in a single contest to date.