March 6, 2021 | 12:55 am EST Update
Those are big enough that the Heat can likely satisfy the league’s salary-matching rules should they bring in a high-salaried star. John Wall and Kyle Lowry are potential targets.
Today, with the Wizards at 14-20 and Beal’s free agency nearing, rumors of his future in Washington have inevitably swirled, no matter the reality. Sources say the Wizards are not engaging with other front offices who call about Beal, and he has not asked for a trade.
According to one NBA insider, Celtics fans shouldn’t get their hopes up. NBC Sports Washington’s Chris Miller discussed the odds of Beal joining the C’s and emphatically shut down the proposition. “There’s no way Bradley Beal’s going to Boston, I’ll just tell you that,” Miller said Friday on Early Edition. “Bradley’s not going anywhere. He’s heard over the last two years every team it seems like’s fanbase courting Bradley Beal. And why not? This guy is the leading scorer in the league, he has developed into one of the best players in the league, and offensively he is literally unguardable.”
Those talks, Lillard said, have revisited the same topics from nearly two years ago. The suggestions they leave for better teams or bigger markets. The notion they could do better, be better and live better in a different city. “I know how he feels because I get that all the time: ‘You should go here; you should go there …’ from all kinds of different people, and I know he gets it too,” Lillard said. “We’ve had that conversation. … He has the same feeling about it as I have: I just don’t want to go elsewhere. This is our ninth year. We’ve been so invested in this to where it’s like, this is what it is. This is where I want to get it done. And I’m sure he feels that same way.”
“I want to see it through here,’’ Lillard said. “And I want to see it through here more than I care to go somewhere else and just win it, period, you know? I feel like if I did go to another team and we won the championship, I would be obviously beyond happy and excited, but I don’t think it would be the same feeling as if I went through everything we went through here and worked for everything we worked for here. It wasn’t here. It would hit different for me here.’’
At 14-22, the Kings are set to be movers and shakers at the NBA’s trade deadline. Sources have confirmed to NBC Sports California that the team has been extremely active on the phones over the last two weeks. Whether that equates to a groundbreaking transaction between now and the NBA’s March 25 trade deadline is still unknown. Outside of De’Aaron Fox and rookie Tyrese Haliburton, there are very few Kings players that should be considered off the table. In Sam Amick and Jason Jones’ latest piece on The Athletic, Marvin Bagley and Nemanja Bjelica both came up in the discussion.
Bradley Beal, the smooth-shooting guard for the Washington Wizards, had recently been offered a contract extension. He sat on the offer for months, mulling his future. But before he made up his mind, he wanted to talk to Damian Lillard, the perennial All-Star in Portland. Beal said there were conversations. Texts. And direct messages. “Dame and I, we’ve kind of built a relationship,” Beal said.
So when they connected on the phone, Beal had a simple question. “Why did he stick through it?” Beal remembers asking. Lillard’s answer was rooted in his core values, which happened to speak to the same qualities that Beal held dear. As they talked, they discovered they were drawn to the community of a city more than the nightlife or weather. They found they valued building something rather than instant gratification. And loyalty was more than just a word, it was feeling. “He was another guy where people were like, ‘He has to get out of Washington, and he has to do this and he has to do that …’ and I have people say that about me all the time,” Lillard said. “And I think we share that same mentality, where it’s like … No. It’s nothing against people who decide to team up and all that stuff. It’s just, this is the route we choose. This is the route we want to go. This is what means something to us. And I think we connect on that.’’