The Miami Heat didn’t want to pay the luxury tax for Bradley Beal’s contract, according to Heavy Sports’ Steve Bulpett.
Beal, who was dealt by the Washington Wizards to the Phoenix Suns on Sunday, is due a massive salary over the remainder of his deal and has a no-trade clause. The Heat reportedly were finalists in the race for Beal, but ultimately he ended up in Phoenix.
“It was out there that Miami decided not to bite on Beal because they were playing for (Portland’s Damian) Lillard,” a league source told Heavy Sports. “It really wasn’t that; it was tax consequences with Beal that really caused them to back off. The new tax is much more onerous.
“And I think part of it was that Beal said he wouldn’t give up the no-trade clause in his contract (after the initial deal was complete).”
The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement will punish teams that go over the second tax apron. If the Heat go over, they won’t have the ability to take on more salary than they send out in trades. The team will also lose the ability to sign players through the mid-level exception if it clears the second tax apron
The Heat clearly didn’t feel that adding Beal was worth losing out on those abilities to improve the team in the future.
Miami is looking like a team that will be in the tax for the first time in a long time, but Heat owner Micky Arison is willing to do “whatever it takes” for the team to win an NBA title.
While trading for Beal may have fallen under that category, the Heat would have had very little options to improve after acquiring him. Also, since Beal has a no-trade clause, the team’s hands would have been tied – much like the Wizards’ were this offseason – if it wanted to trade Beal in the future.
By not adding the three-time All-Star guard, the Heat maintained some flexibility this offseason, and they still can make a deal for a big-time player by using the salary from Kyle Lowry’s contract. Lowry is entering the final season of a three-year deal.
The Heat have made the NBA Finals in two of the last four seasons, although they have come up short in both instances.
President Pat Riley has done a great job building the team since acquiring star Jimmy Butler, and Heat fans should trust his judgment when it comes to the team’s decision to pass on Beal in the trade market.