Rumor: Heat’s fallback plan if Giannis Antetokounmpo signs extension with Bucks
The Miami Heat are among the handful of teams that have been positioning themselves to make a run at Giannis Antetokounmpo, whether it be via trade or in free agency next offseason. If Antetokounmpo chooses to sign an extension with the Milwaukee Bucks, the Heat’s top fallback plan would be to pursue Bradley Beal, per the Miami Herald’s Barry Jackson.
At the end of the 2019-2020 season, murmurs of what Giannis was going to do began to dominate headlines. The two-time NBA MVP is eligible to sign a five-year, $228 million supermax extension with the Bucks after seven years with the organization.
However, with Milwaukee continually falling short in the playoffs after dominant regular seasons the last two seasons, some people wonder if he’s fully committed to a long-term deal with the franchise. That is where the Heat come in, as Pat Riley has always shown a willingness to make aggressive moves for superstar players.
Despite the rumors of his possible departure, the Bucks remain pretty confident that Antetokounmpo will put pen to paper soon. In the event that transpires, Miami could begin calling the Washington Wizards to see what it would take to pry Beal away from the nation’s capital.
After making the NBA Finals last season, Riley and the Heat know they have to improve to inch closer to a title. Beal would improve the team, especially when it comes to being able to score in a variety of ways on the court.
It seems as if Miami is understandably reluctant to part ways with Jimmy Butler or Bam Adebayo in a trade for anyone. With that in mind, it may take a package involving Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson to acquire Beal, if the Wizards become interested in moving the scoring shooting guard.
Washington has been adamant about not trading Beal, instead preferring to see how he and John Wall look together again. But the Wizards could change their tune if things go south, especially with Wall making his own trade request recently.
If that happens, the Heat will be waiting to strike on Beal. Miami could also look to make a move for Victor Oladipo, but he needs to prove he can return to All-Star form and likely wouldn’t be targeted unless both Giannis and Beal are off the table. The Heat could also look to sign Oladipo next offseason.