Marc Stein on the Warriors: “The way it was described to me by a team that I’ll just say has been monitoring Golden State very closely is they want a star, the Warriors want a star… But, you know, who doesn’t want a star? Can you package 7 and 14 picks and James Wiseman and get a star? When we’re talking about stars, that’s basically code for Bradley Beal, or Damian Lillard. Are either one of those guys really in play at this draft? It’s probably more Lillard than Beal at this point but I just think the draft might come a step too soon for either one of those guys to be dealt.”
Marc Stein: Golden State has indeed signaled a willingness to trade the 7th and 14th overall picks, league sources say, but the Warriors are said to be trying to construct a deal that brings back "a star." Star translates to Washington's Bradley Beal or Portland's Damian Lillard — neither of whom figures to be available for a trade package in which, irrespective of how many draft assets are attached, Andrew Wiggins is the standout veteran.
Some on the Golden State Warriors are watching closely the next move of Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal. Should he become available, he’s at the top of the offseason wishlist. The Warriors’ trio of stars — Stephen Curry, Draymond Green and Klay Thompson — have made it clear to management they want the franchise to focus on the pursuit of a championship, even to consider using their two lottery picks to get someone who can help immediately, sources confirmed. Warriors general manager Bob Myers said their goal this offseason is to add more of a veteran presence.
Any deal involving Beal would have to include Andrew Wiggins to make the salaries match. Wiggins has two years, $65.2 million remaining on his contract. One team source did say the Warriors wouldn’t be quite willing to gut the roster to acquire Beal. If they could land Beal while keeping James Wiseman, it could be the best of both worlds for the Warriors — appease the desire to win now while retaining a future centerpiece. But Washington figures to want Wiseman.
SNY's Ian Begley reported Monday the Knicks might instead prioritize maintaining future financial flexibility: "As recently as last month, a source said the Knicks have talked internally about the possibility of holding enough cap space this summer for 2022 and keeping enough money around to be able to go after a max player in that 2022 class, which should include Zach LaVine and Bradley Beal."
Yet even if Morey, deep down, wishes he had a do-over on his January or March dealings, he has shown little inclination to rush into shedding Simmons, which is undoubtedly a nod to one of the most complex situations he has ever faced. All teams covet the biggest stars, but Morey is especially obsessive about it. He will surely tune out the naysayers who suggest Simmons can no longer be the centerpiece for the acquisition of a Bradley Beal-type superstar. Portland’s CJ McCollum has been mentioned often as a potential Sixers target in a Simmons deal; rest assured that Morey longs for Damian Lillard if he is targeting any Trail Blazer.
Sports Illustrated Chris Mannix reveals two names he believes to be enticing enough for the Celtics to include Jaylen Brown for in a trade. While he didn’t provide a firm report on any trade rumblings going on at the moment, he could potentially be plugged into some sources who might have a better feel for Boston’s outlook. The seasoned insider spoke out on Early Edition this past week. “There are a couple of players out there that I think the Celtics would move for Jaylen Brown,” Mannix said. “One would be Bradley Beal, who has to make a decision of his own the next couple weeks if he wants to sign that extension with Washington. If he doesn’t, that’s tantamount to a trade request and he can become available. And we all know at this point about the relationship between Bradley Beal and Jayson Tatum.
Another source questioned why either team would make that deal, specifically saying it doesn’t do enough to address Philadelphia’s need for leadership. The source suggested the Kings could make a serious play for Simmons if they make De’Aaron Fox or Tyrese Haliburton available. Some believe the 76ers could make a move for Kyrie Irving, Bradley Beal or Damian Lillard instead.
The source told the Daily News that the Knicks are interested in packaging rising star RJ Barrett in a deal for a star guard, like Portland’s Damian Lillard or Washington’s Bradley Beal. If both the Trail Blazers and Wizards are uninterested in a deal, the source says the Knicks are also monitoring Cleveland’s Collin Sexton, Oklahoma City’s Shai Gilgeous-Alexander and Charlotte’s Terry Rozier as younger guards the franchise can fold into its plans for the future.
Ava Wallace: Sheppard on Beal: "Nothing's changing for me, for Bradley... we built this team around Bradley, and that's our intention moving forward."
Beal, 27, becomes a free agent a year from now when his two-year, $72 million extension from 2019 runs out, but he could ask for a trade before then. Although the all-star guard expressed no interest in leaving the team throughout the season, according to multiple people with knowledge of Beal’s situation, he made it clear at the start of the year that he wanted the Wizards to prove they could be a winning organization.
After the Washington Wizards saw their season end with a Game 5 first-round loss to the 76ers on Wednesday night in Philadelphia, Bradley Beal said it was too soon to declare his future intentions as he enters the final year of his contract. "I haven't even ... we're not gonna think about that, or even talk about it, right now," Beal said after collecting 32 points, seven rebounds and five assists in Washington's 129-112 loss. "I haven't thought about none of that, as of yet."
"Ultimately, I'm in control," Beal said. "I think that's my biggest thing. People are going to report whatever they want, but I know where my mind is and I know if it's not coming from the horse's mouth, then it's going to be rumors. I expect them. S---, they're starting now. "So it doesn't change anything. I guess it's going to increase a lot more this year with me going into the last year of my deal, but for me, I'm just relaxing, resting my body and we'll evaluate all that when summer comes."
Tim Bontemps: Bradley Beal is asked directly about whether he thinks the Wizards have shown him enough to commit to the organization long-term. And while he praises Scott Brooks and the way the season went, Beal declined to answer either way whether Washington was the place for him long-term.
The Grizzlies are not a free-agent destination for All-NBA players and could take a swing for a fence type deal with a collection of draft picks (nine over the next seven years) and young players on team-friendly contracts (De'Anthony Melton, Brandon Clarke and Dillon Brooks).
The patience has paid off to a relative degree, as now the Wizards are in position to possibly make the playoffs. Beal feels like he has been somewhat vindicated by the experience. "It speaks volumes. It’s always tough because when my name was buzzing, that’s all I heard early in the year is ‘trade Beal, trade Beal.’ It wasn’t anything other than that," Beal said. "So, me knowing who I am and just sticking through it, that’s a testament to what we did as a team this year."
One league source told me the sleeper team to watch in a Beal bidding war is the Raptors. This source said Toronto president Masai Ujiri was reluctant to deal Lowry because he believes the team can contend again as soon as next season. At that point, the Raptors will likely be back in a normal rhythm and playing in Canada after spending all of this season in Tampa.
There’s still a real chance Beal stays in Washington for years to come, but as the Wizards rack up losses, teams like the Heat are waiting to pounce. In addition to Miami, multiple league sources say the Celtics, Knicks, and Pelicans are among the teams with interest in pursuing a deal for Beal.
Like most teams around the league, Washington (15-26) isn’t looking at a bombshell deal come 3 p.m. Thursday — one blockbuster trade in a season is enough, and nothing with Beal’s situation has changed. The all-star guard has not indicated he wants a trade, according to people with knowledge of the situation, and Washington has not made him available for one.
Yet amid the generalities and coy responses they offered after being asked what the trade deadline is like for a coach and a veteran and which holes Washington needs plugged most, Brooks and Beal described the Wizards’ situation rather tidily. “I could sit here and say we need a lot,” Beal said. “I could sit here and say we’re really good with what we have, and it’s just a matter of us being consistent.”
For the 73,982 people that keep asking: no, the Wizards’ stance on Bradley Beal hasn’t changed. Teams continue to ask if the two-time All-Star is available; teams continue to be told no, he isn’t, and Beal continues to hold fast on not asking for relocation. Washington’s post-break funk hasn’t lessened the franchise’s resolve to continue a rebuild around him in 2021-22, even though that would continue to degrade what the Wizards could get for him in return. The Wizards plan to have their full mid-level exception available next summer; after flirting with getting into the playoff tournament in the east, they’re sinking back toward the bottom of the conference, increasing their chances of a high Lottery pick in a very good draft.
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.”
But sources tell TrueHoop that there’s a problem with that analysis. The Washington Wizards insist Beal ain’t going anywhere, and it’s convincing.
One rival executive, who has been repeatedly rebuffed in Beal trade calls, has all but given up trying to pry him away, telling TrueHoop: “In terms of franchise loyalty, I think Beal is in the same category as Steph and Dame right now.”
Rival executives have been sorely disappointed that Beal hasn’t cracked underneath the turmoil on the roster dealing with a COVID-19 outbreak and Westbrook’s sudden decline.
Michael Singer: Michael Malone: “I feel bad for Bradley Beal because every day his name is on HoopsHype about trades. Let the kid play, man.”
Knicks top executive World Wide Wes is reportedly recruiting Bradley Beal to the Knicks through backchannels. ESPN radio host Michael Kay, who works for the station that broadcasts Knicks games, cited a “very good source” while dropping the news on his show last week.
“The Knicks have World Wide Wes on their side,” Kay said. “And he’s been in the ear of some of Beal’s people and he’s kind of nudging them that this might be a time to push for a trade.”
World Wide Wes, whose real name is William Wesley, was hired by the Knicks in June to work with his longtime associate Leon Rose. It’s Wesley’s first official job with an NBA team after decades as a behind-the-scenes power broker who leveraged relationships into influence. World Wide Wes, who has James Dolan’s ear, is an animated figure on the sidelines this season, both on the road and at MSG, but has never spoken publicly.
What the Celtics can do right now is limited. Unless something changes between now and the deadline, Bradley Beal won’t be available. All indications are that he and the front office will wait until the offseason to sort out their future. And even if Beal did become available before the deadline, the Celtics probably wouldn’t be able to make the most competitive offer.
The Jump: Per @Adrian Wojnarowski on NBA Countdown: Bradley Beal is unlikely to be traded before the March 25 deadline. #NBA #NBATwitter #TheJump #DCAboveAll
The Knicks are interested in Beal, a source confirmed, and in general are open to trading assets to acquire a star player. They have $15 million in cap space that will disappear if it’s not used before the trade deadline, along with five first-round picks over the next three years.
Knicks top executive World Wide Wes is reportedly recruiting Bradley Beal to the Knicks through backchannels. ESPN radio host Michael Kay, who works for the station that broadcasts Knicks games, cited a “very good source” while dropping the news on his show last week. “The Knicks have World Wide Wes on their side,” Kay said. “And he’s been in the ear of some of Beal’s people and he’s kind of nudging them that this might be a time to push for a trade.”
Fred Katz: Bradley Beal on why he thinks he was No. 1 in voting across the board after not making All-Star last year: "I have no idea. I have no idea,” he says before looking into the Zoom camera and smirking. "Part of me wants to say it’s all the trade rumors, but I don’t know."
One, they are invested in him and want an All-Star on the roster. He is a player to build around and a box-office attraction. Two, Beal, who is a free agent after the 2022-23 season, has not indicated he wants out. He wants to be the centerpiece of a rebuild, at least for now. “I’ve been very clear about that for a long time – Bradley Beal has separated himself as one of the elite players in the NBA,” Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard told USA TODAY Sports. “He’s a fantastic two-way player. He’s proved himself to be a cornerstone for this franchise.”
Washington and trade suitors have to consider that Beal has never made the playoffs without John Wall. So what would be the trade cost? Three different executives, who spoke to the News, defined the price as steep. One longtime GM laid it out specifically: three unprotected first rounders, two pick swaps, a young player and an expiring contract. That’s approaching Harden territory. The Nets, as the News reported, had internally discussed acquiring Beal long before exhausting their assets for Harden. As far as valuable young players, the Knicks can offer Barrett, Mitchell Robinson, Immanuel Quickley or Toppin. Their best player, Julius Randle, is only tied to next season with a $19.8 million team option.
Beal always seems a step away from being put on the trading block, and league executives think it’s more a matter of when, not if, he will be dealt. “Eventually I think the Wizards will [trade him],” one NBA executive said. “They want to treat Beal right. I think Beal will get frustrated enough to ask for a trade and they will accommodate him.”
The Knicks — as well as several other teams — are monitoring the situations of shooting guards Bradley Beal and Victor Oladipo. The Knicks (11-15) get an up-close look at both players in a Friday-Saturday back-to-back.
Only, Beal does not want next. He wants to carve his own path, not the one dictated by widespread player movement and the media that spotlights it, and that still means constructing a contender in Washington. “He doesn’t want to quit on something,” Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein of Priority Sports & Entertainment, told Yahoo Sports. “He’s an incredibly loyal guy, and he wants to always feel like he’s done everything he can to help something or someone be successful. It’s the way he was raised and what his values are based upon. It’s ingrained in him. It’s what makes him, in my mind, so unique. He’s all about the right things.”
“It’s the team that drafted him, the team that’s invested in him, and he desperately wants to make them a championship contender,” Bartelstein, who has represented Beal since the 2012 draft, told Yahoo Sports. “He wants to make it happen. That’s the way he is. He’s not looking for the easy way out. He challenges himself. The evolution of his game speaks volumes about how committed he is and how hard he works.”
Beal wants to see the same turnaround come his way in Washington. So, barring a shift in direction for the Wizards, who are said to have “zero” to “no interest” in dealing Beal, any speculation is more time wasted. “Nothing is absolute. Things change all the time,” Bartelstein told Yahoo Sports, “but when he’s in, he’s all in. That’s where his focus is. He’s focused on raising their level and getting to that point. A lot of what is going on in the media right now is unfair. Every facial expression, every movement, every time his eyes are looking somewhere, people are reading so much into every little thing. There’s nothing there to read into.
“Brad’s never been someone to run from adversity,” Pure Sweat Basketball’s Drew Hanlen, Beal’s longtime trainer, told Yahoo Sports. “While a lot of other stars have chosen to blame others and run to another team where things are easier, Brad wants to stick things out and help turn the Wizards into a winning franchise.”
“Of course, Brad wants to win and doesn’t want his prime to be wasted on a losing team,” Hanlen told Yahoo Sports in a text message, “but [second-year Wizards general manager] Tommy [Sheppard] has always been good to Brad, and he wants to give him a chance to build a winning team around him in D.C.”
The Jump: "Another guy executives are watching is Zach LaVine. They would trade for someone like Bradley Beal if he's available" - @Brian Windhorst #NBA #NBATwitter #TheJump #BullsNation
Another West exec was even more adamant when asked the same question. "Zero," they said, referring to the chances Beal is dealt before next month's trade deadline. "That's what they keep saying. They've been adamant they're not moving him."
That leaves Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal as the biggest star who could be considered available. But while Beal hasn't hid his displeasure at times on the court recently for the Wizards, there has been no indication he has asked out of Washington, and observers around the league expect that deal to take place in the offseason, rather than between now and the deadline. "I think it would have to be pressure from him and his agent to do so, and it sounds to me like that won't happen until after the season, if at all," a Western Conference executive said.
Beal has so far expressed he wants to remain in Washington and has not indicated he prefers to be traded, sources with knowledge of the situation tell The Athletic. The Wizards, in turn, have no interest in trading him. Amid calls from the general public and even ones from around the league that a team at the bottom of the standings would be best off dealing its prized player, Washington has made it clear it has no plans to move him.
He is privately frustrated and confused with the perpetual portrayal of his situation, according to sources familiar with his thinking. After seeing other players take criticism for requesting to leave teams, those sources say Beal feels he’s getting nitpicked for choosing to stay in D.C., where he began his NBA career in 2012. He felt similarly when he signed an extension in October 2019. Speculation about his future has swirled since before then.
There is a long way to go until the March 25 trade deadline, but several teams that would be in the hunt for Beal do not expect him to become available this season. “(The Wizards) have maintained what they’ve always maintained,” one rival executive said. “They’re building something in Washington around Beal.”
Opposing organizations don’t get the impression that this is some kind of leverage play from the Wizards. They don’t believe Washington is insisting that Beal is unavailable as some kind of ploy to raise an asking price. General manager Tommy Sheppard is operating inside a market that just saw the Rockets acquire four first-round draft picks and four first-round draft swaps in exchange for Harden. Only a few months ago, the Pelicans received three first-rounders and two swaps for Jrue Holiday. Beal could reasonably command more than New Orleans got, especially if a trade came now — though there would be complications in trying to pull off a deal before the trade deadline.
Bradley Beal’s body language against the Nets during the first half and what NBA executives and scouts were saying. Michael Scotto: I texted with a couple of executives and scouts. One executive in the East told me, “Damn, that’s unbelievable. Red flags everywhere.” Another scout, who’s been in the league for over a decade at this point, texted me, “He looks like he’s done with them.” That was in the first half.
Michael Scotto: You mentioned that the Wizards aren’t necessarily looking to move him. I’ve gotten that same sentiment as well. Coming into the year, they thought with re-signing Davis Bertans, trading for Russell Westbrook and reuniting him with Brooks and hoping he can recapture that MVP form or at least an All-Star level player, pair him with Beal, they thought they were a playoff team in the East and as high as six in the conferenceaccording to somepeople I spoke to in the organization going into the season. That was their hope. It hasn’t turned out like that. Thomas Bryant also got hurt.
Fred Katz: Brad hasn’t said he wants out. The team doesn’t want to trade him. At this point, that’s been the case for long enough that I’m just going to continue to believe that until I explicitly hear hints of otherwise. And this isn’t just from conversations with people close to Beal. These are conversations with people from other teams who call up the Wizards. The league sees what’s happening here. The Wizards are 4-12. Beal’s a free agent in the summer of 2022. The league sees him as the next guy to get traded after James Harden.
So if Beal wants atrade or the Wizards explore a trade, what’s his value? Michael Scotto: One exec said, ‘A whole bunch of picks, and I think they could try to have another team take a bad contract with him as well. I think it’d be somewhere between the Jrue Holiday and Harden trades. Harden was an MVP scoring champ in terms of talent. He (Beal) is in between both of them.’ Another exec said, ‘If you look at the last couple of trades, depending on the players going back, I’d imagine two or three first-round picks and potentially pick swaps as well.’
The New Orleans Pelicans' interest in Beal remains one of the biggest open secrets around the league, and it seems their massive haul for Jrue Holiday would be the Wizards' required starting point in any negotiations.
The Nuggets have been as linked to Beal as the Pelicans, and they could offer Washington the only blockbuster trade ingredient it appears New Orleans cannot: a bonafide blue-chip prospect in Michael Porter Jr. Yet that is where any semblance of certainty stops in this hypothetical.
The Hawks also widely signaled that 2018 first-round pick Kevin Huerter was available via trade prior to draft night. Atlanta would need to include Tony Snell and one other smaller contract to match Beal's salary. Adding John Collins would make the money work, and if the Wizards are willing to sign him to the max-level contract sources say he desires in his upcoming restricted free agency, Atlanta holds all of its first-rounders plus the Oklahoma City Thunder's lottery-protected 2022 first-round pick.
The New York Knicks have $17 million in cap room, a number of expiring contracts, several recent first-round selections on their roster and a cupboard full of future draft picks at their disposal. The Knicks never had much interest in Westbrook this offseason, league sources say. But adding Beal may be worth the risk. The Knicks would finally have an unquestioned All-NBA talent on their roster, still several years shy of turning 30, with a clean cap sheet of their own to add another co-star.
The Knicks have five first-round picks in the next three drafts. They have two picks coming from the Dallas Mavericks as a result of the Kristaps Porzingis trade. The 2021 pick is unprotected. At the moment, it looks like that could be a top-20 pick. So New York could offer Washington two strong picks in the 2021 draft, which is seen as incredibly deep. As ESPN’s Brian Windhorst noted on ESPN Radio with Alan Hahn and Bart Scott, several NBA teams are limited in what picks they can offer in a trade because of previous trades they’ve made. And because NBA teams can’t trade their own first-round picks in consecutive seasons. So the Knicks could have an advantage on some Beal suitors with regard to first-round picks.
That was the issue several teams brought up when talking about potential Beal deals. It should be noted that Oladipo can be a free agent this offseason, but Houston can trade him instead of losing him for nothing. "RJ Barrett isn’t there yet. Neither is Mitchell Robinson. Maybe they could do something around both guys? But I don’t think a package around one of them is enough,” one team said. “Randle’s having a great season, but I don't know if he'd headline a Beal trade.”
The Knicks wouldn’t have a problem matching salaries for the trade. They are roughly $18 million under the cap. But, the opposing teams and former execs we spoke to all mentioned that several teams with young, established stars could put together better packages. “The picks alone probably won’t get it done,” a former exec said.
Fred Katz: Bradley Beal is the biggest trade domino in the league. And when I say biggest trade domino, I mean, I'm not talking about the Wizards wanting to trade him. They don't, from every estimation that I've gotten, they don't. I talked to a couple people with other teams yesterday, who told me that as recently as the last time they spoke to the Wizards, they just won't even engage (in trade talks), and every indication that I hear is that Beal has just flat out not said he wants out.
Fred Katz on Bradley Beal: If you polled people around the league, he is the guy. He's the most wanted guy who other people believe should be available.
Ava Wallace: Scott Brooks on constant Bradley Beal trade rumors: "Of course every team would want him, but the good part about it, the team that he's on wants him the most. ...We're not interested. We're not interested."
He shared conversation with Beal’s agent Mark Bartelstein who said that his client’s thought are on turning the Wizards around. “I think this a conversation for the Wizards and Beal that perhaps is had in the offseason. He is not going to be on the trade market in the near future,” Wojnarowski said. “And he’s not expressed really at all yet that he’s ready to move on. He has loved that city, that organization. He is fighting through a lot right now.”
Should Beal enter the trade market, the interest would be ‘massive,’ according to Woj. “Every team in the league would have interest trying to find the way ‘Do we have the assets to get Bradley Beal? Do we think we could keep him long-term?'” he said, adding that teams are monitoring Beal’s situation every day.
The latest buzz comes from a somewhat offhand remark from Adrian Wojnarowski as he discussed the Beal situation on ESPN’s “The Jump,” but given that Woj is as plugged in as they come, his certainty here is still worth noting (emphasis mine): “There’s not a team in the league who wouldn’t love to find a way to add Bradley Beal... I think for teams like Golden State or the Denvers, teams who have assets who are contenders when they’re healthy, but also, let’s say if you’re Golden State, you’ve got that Minnesota draft pick, if you’re Denver, you’ve got a great young player in Michael Porter Jr., you’ve got an All-Star in Jamal Murray in the backcourt. Now I’m not saying they’re going to do it, but you look at those teams and say ‘they have enough to get in the conversation.’ “And that’s going to be the decision for teams all over the league. Of course the Lakers and Clippers would love to be able to get involved in that, but do they have the draft picks? Do they have the young players it would take that would top a package from some other teams? Maybe not.
The Jump: "There's been no indication that Beal might become available. No teams sense that" - @Adrian Wojnarowski #NBA #NBATwitter #TheJump #DCAboveAll
The Jump: "I talked to Brad's agent and he told me that right now, Brad's focus with the Wizards is turning this season around. When he signed that extension, he knew there was going to be a period of growth" - @Adrian Wojnarowski #NBA #NBATwitter #TheJump #DCAboveAll pic.twitter.com/etQlwPM2nS
The Jump: "Beal's long-term future is very uncertain in Washington" - @Adrian Wojnarowski #NBA #NBATwitter #TheJump #DCAboveAll
The Jump: "Bradley Beal has been extremely loyal to the Wizards" - @Adrian Wojnarowski #NBA #NBATwitter #TheJump #DCAboveAll
The Jump: "With Beal, there are a lot more teams that believe that you can just fit him in and find a way. Teams like Golden State, Denver who have assets" - @Adrian Wojnarowski #NBA #NBATwitter #TheJump #DCAboveAll
The Jump: "He believes in what we're doing" - Scott Brooks on Beal @Washington Wizards #NBA #NBATwitter #TheJump #DCAboveAll
Fred Katz: Here is the single most important Bradley Beal quote from his postgame session today. Amidst all the trade talk, he said this: "It’s tough. We wanna win. I wanna win. This is why I stayed. I wanna win (here). I figure this is the place I can get it done."
So with Brooklyn-bound James Harden now officially off the trade market, what can the Heat realistically do to improve the roster? Four possibilities: Hope the Wizards make guard Bradley Beal available, which could be as simple as Beal eventually saying he wants out, as Harden did with Houston. The Heat’s interest level is high, a source reiterated.
Moreover, regardless of Beal’s desires, Washington’s interests lie strongly in moving him sooner rather than later. For starters, what’s the point of keeping him if the Wizards stink anyway? More importantly, his trade value will never, ever be higher than right now, when he is still under contract for 18 more months and playing at an All-Star level. Between that, his age (27), and the snug fit of his perimeter game next to other star-caliber players, I’d argue that Beal actually might have more trade value than James Harden. The Wizards would be foolish not to explore this.
League sources expect Miami to remain in the race for either Harden or Beal. But the fact the Heat can only offer their 2027 first-round pick hurts their odds of making a splash, and as ESPN’s Brian Windhorst first reported in December, that caused early discussions with Houston to fizzle.
Teams already widely known to have interest in Harden, such as the Nets and Sixers, would unsurprisingly also have interest in Beal, league sources say. Most people around the league consider Brooklyn a fairly unlikely destination to land a star considering it lacks a high-value player or asset to put into a deal. Philadelphia, however, remains a threat to acquire anyone if Daryl Morey is willing to give up Ben Simmons. How many draft picks or young players he’d be willing to add with Simmons may be the bigger question.
In addition to Bogdanovic, he cited Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal as a desirable target for the Bucks. Without impugning specific teammates, Antetokounmpo was implicitly suggesting what just about everyone in the organization — and the NBA — knew: The Bucks needed to upgrade their backcourt.
But if they come up empty-handed, they would apparently pivot to trying to acquire Wizards' star, Bradley Beal. "If Giannis Antetokounmpo signs a max extension with the Bucks, Washington guard Bradley Beal becomes the No. 1 Heat target if or when he becomes available," according to the Miami Herald's Barry Jackson. "The Heat’s interest remains very high, according to a source with direct knowledge."
The Wizards have never shown any interest in trading Beal. They’ve hung up on rival executives who have dared to inquire about his availability.
Vincent Goodwill: Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine have been hot names around the league, according to league sources. Philadelphia has been one among many, but the Wizards and Bulls have rebuffed overtures.
As for Beal, after consistent trade rumors linked to his name, sources tell NBC Sports Washington that Beal wants to see an improved roster around him to challenge for a playoff spot as he enters his ninth season in Washington.
Tim Bontemps: Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard is asked about Bradley Beal's availability on a pre-draft trade call and he is unequivocal: "Bradley Beal isn't going anywhere."
It's fun to dream about the kind of damage they could do together. But apparently, that's all we can do, at least for now. In order to acquire Beal, the Wizards obviously would have to be willing to give him up. And currently, that's not the case. "We're building this team around Bradley Beal," Wizards general manager Tommy Sheppard told ESPN's Zach Lowe on Thursday on the "Lowe Post" podcast. "He's a tremendous human being. He's a tremendous player. He's exactly what we want to have here with the Washington Wizards."
Bullets Forever: Couple other takeaways from Sheppard on the Lowe podcast: 1) Sheppard made clear he’s not looking for shortcuts and the “win a little more now at the expense of the future” moves are a thing of the past;
The Wizards have shown no inclination to trade Beal, sources say, and might do so only if Beal -- under contract through at least 2021-22 -- indicates he would prefer to play elsewhere. Could that happen at the trade deadline if the Wizards are bad again?
Rarely have the No. 1 and 2 picks gone to teams in various win-now stages. Both the Minnesota Timberwolves and Golden State Warriors have explored trading their picks for All-NBA-level stars, sources say, but no such deal appears (for now) likely to materialize. The Wizards have shown no interest in trading Beal for either pick, sources say. Ditto for Phoenix with Devin Booker and Philadelphia with Ben Simmons.
Rivals are not giving up on Beal becoming available sooner. Multiple strong playoff teams have called teams in the top 10 of the draft, investigating what it would take to acquire those picks, sources have said. Do those teams love a certain prospect? Or are they seeking ammo for a big trade?
Still, nothing has changed from the Wizards' side of things [regarding a potential Bradley Beal trade], as general manager Tommy Sheppard explained Tuesday on the 'Grant and Danny' show on 106.7 The Fan.J Sheppard expressed in detail how the relationship between him and Beal remains strong and that Beal has not asked to be traded.
"Brad absolutely has been committed to us. Last summer, he signed an extension with us. I think we're absolutely committed to him. The biggest thing we ask for each other is 'hey, let's go win,'" Sheppard said. "He and I have been a straight line of communication throughout the offseason. He's really excited for next season. He hasn't given any indication whatsoever on that and I wouldn't expect to hear about it from anybody but him. He and I have always been straight-line, Grant. And I think he's as committed to D.C. as he always has been."
But perhaps the Wizards want everybody to think that's the case to drive up the asking price. As for the rumors -- do they impact Beal? How much do they distract him? "When I'm playing and see those things, I don't let it bother me," he said this week on "The Old Man & The Three" podcast. "I feel like early in my career, it probably would have. "But now, it's a place of just understanding your value, understanding you're wanted -- especially by teams who want to win, teams who want to win a championship."
As for the rumors -- do they impact Beal? How much do they distract him? "When I'm playing and see those things, I don't let it bother me," he said this week on "The Old Man & The Three" podcast. "I feel like early in my career, it probably would have. But now, it's a place of just understanding your value, understanding you're wanted -- especially by teams who want to win, teams who want to win a championship."
October 1, 2022 | 8:15 pm EDT Update
Ham said he will still try out different lineups before the regular season opens Oct. 18 on the road against Golden State. Lonnie Walker (ankle) went through a full-contact practice for the first time all camp on Saturday. Troy Brown Jr. remains limited because of his back. And Dennis Schroder, who has missed all of camp thus far after signing as a free agent last month, is expected to join the team as soon as midweek in Las Vegas after sorting out a visa issue that was keeping him in his native Germany.
New coach Darvin Ham has used James, Davis and Westbrook in his preferred starting five during camp, along with guard Kendrick Nunn and center Damian Jones. He is trying to maximize the potential of the three max players with a combined 35 All-Star appearances between them. “We have a three-man package, actually a playcall, that they’re going thrive in and it involves all three of them,” Ham said. “I look forward to that being at a very, very high level. And there’s different nuances in it that they can play around with.
Josh Robbins: The Wizards say Deni Avdija (left groin strain) and Bradley Beal (rest) will not play in the team’s second (and last) exhibition game here in Japan. Will Barton (lower back soreness), who sat out the preseason opener, is listed as probable to play.
Damichael Cole: Ziaire Williams already looks more actively involved in the Grizzlies offense than any point last season, as he said he would be. Will be interesting to see if he still gets those actions ran for him when the starters play, because he looks promising.
Lauren Rosen: Furkan Korkmaz on @Joel Embiid: “With Joel, I should call him the head of the snake. However he acts… that brings the whole team up. I feel like he is really being bossy the last 2 years. He’s talking more, he’s being around more – that really helps for the team chemistry.”
In order to improve as a catch-and-shoot player, one has to be able to move well without the ball. Luckily for Harris and the Sixers, he had a crash course in that type of role after the break in 2022. “I think last year really helped,” Rivers added. “The second half of last year, the last 15 games, and through the playoffs, I thought he really bought into who needs to be.”