Saucey Nuggets: Miami Heat Trade Deadline Chatter, Bradley Beal Heavy Interest

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With the NBA Trade Deadline nearly three weeks away, our Miami Heat Beat insider Greg Sylvander bring us his first edition of Saucey Nuggets as trade rumors begin to stir up league-wide.


This is the latest trade chatter I have heard in recent days as it pertains to your favorite basketball team in Biscayne Bay:

• The Miami Heat, like many other NBA teams, continue to monitor situations surrounding any elite talent that might be acquirable via trade. Uncertainty surrounding multiple Eastern Conference teams, including the Boston Celtics, Philadelphia Sixers, Orlando Magic, and Washington Wizards, has led to whispers of surprising names potentially becoming available, albeit quietly, at the Feb. 7 deadline.

The challenge for Miami is outbidding other teams without including multiple first-round draft picks and players the Heat would prefer to keep. However, I suspect the team would include at least one future first-round pick if it closed a deal for a top-line player.

Wizards guard Bradley Beal continues to be a player the Heat are circling back to with heavy interest, according to a source. Washington’s asking price thus far appears astronomically high and likely too steep, but Miami considers Beal a frontline star with upside.

• With playing time and role in question for multiple players, the Heat appear open, but not overly aggressive, in its desire to swap equal talent with unappealing contracts.

Hassan Whiteside, Dion Waiters, Tyler Johnson, and James Johnson have all been widely regarded as available, according to a league source. Whiteside and Waiters are the primary available options.

• The Heat would prefer to keep Kelly Olynyk, even as his role has declined from last season — his first in Miami. The long-term intent is to thin the front-court logjam in time for Olynyk to gain an increased role in coming seasons. Olynyk, who has two years, $23.8 million left on his contract, also remains a viable trade asset.

Wayne Ellington wants to play and is understandably concerned with lack of playing time and production having a negative impact on his impending free agency. This has been clearly communicated to the team, according to Barry Jackson of The Miami Herald.

Goran Dragic’s knee injury, a disgruntled Waiters who has yet to be deemed reliable, along with knee tendinitis ailing Josh Richardson has Miami in no rush to deal Ellington.

But the Heat will listen to offers for Ellington, and the belief exists that they are likely to accommodate his desire to be moved by Feb. 7. However, no trade is remotely close, according to a source familiar with the situation.

The Denver Nuggets, Dallas Mavericks, Houston Rockets, and Los Angeles Lakers have all registered varying levels of interest in Wayne Ellington, according to a league source.

• The buzz surrounding the emergence of Justise Winslow since his switch to starting point guard, marked improvement by Josh Richardson, and combined flashes from Bam Adebayo and Derrick Jones Jr. has the Heat on a faster track than what was widely regarded in league circles just three months ago.

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