The core duo remaining from an eroded big three could be sticking around longer than the mere remainder of this struggling year. Wall’s recent Achilles’ rupture matched with a pending maximum extension makes him one of the league’s most difficult players to trade. And the organization intends to keep Beal beyond this summer, team president Ernie Grunfeld told The Athletic in an exclusive interview Thursday afternoon. “We have no intention of trading Bradley,” Grunfeld said, when asked if the Wizards would trade Beal before his contract runs up after the 2020-21 season. “We really like his development and the way his game has improved over these years: his character, his work ethic. And we wanna have him as part of our group moving forward for a long time.”
July 1, 2022 | 2:47 am EDT Update
When the two-time NBA Finals MVP made it known he wanted to be traded out of Brooklyn, expected business quickly fell by the wayside as teams tried to reposition themselves to at least make an offer. According to a source, the Bulls were a part of those phone calls, despite Durant reportedly having the Heat and Suns among his desired destinations — and despite the reality that the Bulls don’t have the type of high-profile player or quality of draft picks the Nets were looking for in a trade package.
Phoenix has the kinds of players who might make this a win-win for all involved — namely, Suns small forward Mikal Bridges and restricted free agent center DeAndre Ayton. In the days before Irving’s choice to opt-in, sources close to Ayton had raised this possibility of an Ayton-Bridges deal being very much on their radar. At that time, however, it was unclear whether Durant was going to ask out.
Beck: I asked a well-connected NBA source which teams, other than the increasingly desperate Lakers, would be willing to acquire Irving. His answer: “None.” I think I agree. The league has seen Irving wreak a lot of havoc over the last five years, from Cleveland to Boston to Brooklyn. It’s left an impression. But the Lakers badly need another scorer/playmaker next to LeBron and AD, and Irving is an infinitely better fit than Russell Westbrook.