Getty Images

The Bradley Beal rumor mill is Heating up. If the Washington Wizards guard is traded soon, Miami is widely seen as his likely destination, per Marc Stein's latest newsletter.

From Stein: 

For all the efforts in print Wednesday to paint the situation as exploratory, few rival teams see it that way. The Miami Heat are already widely regarded as the favorites to win the trade sweepstakes for Beal — largely because Beal, possessing the NBA's only active full no-trade clause in his contract, will have so much say in where he goes.

The Heat are believed to be high on Beal's list of preferred destinations if it is indeed time, as it appears, to move on from the only team he has ever known.

Because of those contract provisions, Washington can't move on from Beal without the total involvement of Beal and agent Mark Bartelstein, since they can block any trade they don't like. Draft considerations and salary cap relief are thought to be at the top of Washington's wish list in any Beal trade, but the prerequisite of needing Beal's consent puts Miami in a strong position to assemble an offer around Tyler Herro that the Wizards would presumably otherwise show little interest in considering. Next season is the first year of Herro's four-year, $120 million rookie scale contract extension which he agreed to last summer.

If Washington wants to rebuild, it has no choice but to work with Beal on a trade. According to Stein, if he is not traded to the Heat, it'll likely be because they decide to go a different direction -- he suggests that Portland Trail Blazers star Damian Lillard would be more appealing, although he's not currently available -- rather than because they don't make the Wizards an acceptable offer.

The subtext here is that, for a player with his talent, Beal's trade value is incredibly low. The contract extension he signed last summer -- five years, $251 million, with a no-trade clause, a 15% trade kicker and a player option on the final season -- immediately ensured that Washington would have little leverage in this situation, and it's way worse now that the NBA's new collective bargaining agreement is in place. Under the previous CBA, there were some trade-offs for the teams that had payrolls deep in the luxury tax. Under the new one, there will be severe punishments.

This is why Stein noted that Miami will have to think about whether or not it even wants to add Beal to a roster that includes Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo, who will make a combined $89.5 million in 2025-26 if Butler picks up his player option. Any team that pursues Beal needs to construct a trade that leaves the roster strong enough that Beal wants to join it, and it also needs to weigh the risks that come with taking on his massive contract right as the salary cap is getting much more restrictive. Put simply, if you trade for Beal, will you be able to field a team with any semblance of depth?

In this respect, the Heat -- fresh off a stunning playoff run and Finals loss -- have one thing going for them: They're good at finding diamonds in the rough.