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.
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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.”
“Teams are trying. A lot of them are calling, a lot of them are inquiring and putting packages together — trying to see if they can get me,” he explained. “That’s not a secret. They’ve been doing that for the last couple of years. I don’t view it as a distraction. It’s kind of a sign of respect and motivation too. Keep doing what you’re doing, keep playing hard, keep being the professional that you are. People like that, people are gravitating towards you. Understand what you have here (with the Wizards), but understand that you’re wanted elsewhere too. So just understanding your value and appreciating it.”
NBA Central: Bradley Beal explains why he signed a 1+1 year extension with Washington “You still want to be able to protect yourself and kinda be selfish. How can I create some type of flexibility for myself if we aren’t winning, if I do choose to get out.” (🎥 @OldManAndThree ) pic.twitter.com/EFa0dRvfSt
The first is that he’s given no indication [Bradley Beal] wants to leave Washington, and multiple league sources believe the Wizards don’t want to move him. He has two more seasons before deciding on a 2022-’23 player option, which buys the Wizards time. Not that the Wizards have been in anything other than purgatory the last few seasons, but moving Beal means a full-scale rebuild.
Kamiah Adams-Beal (Bradley Beal’s wife): Unnnnnncccccc 😂😂😂
Beal recently joined the On the Road with Buck & Phil podcast and discussed his future with the Wizards after signing his two-year, nearly $72 million extension with Washington last October. Here’s part of what he had to say when asked what it would mean for him to stay in D.C. for his entire career: “That would mean the world, man. I’m a loyal guy. I want to be here. I’m here. I’ve signed my extension. And that will mean the world to me. That honestly would you know, being able to finish your career in one place? You know, you don’t see that in today’s game.”
However, Beal legitimately does seem motivated to make things work with the Wizards, even revealing hopes to recruit players to join him in Washington: “So that would definitely be honor, you know, but my ultimate goal is to win. I want to win and we got to win. And I know we can win. I know it’s a place where we can win and I know it’s a place where we can get guys to come here to win. But we got to go prove it on the floor for sure.”
One of the largest homes in L.A.’s hip Venice neighborhood has sold for $6.8 million, according to property records. That number ranks as the seaside enclave’s priciest residential deal of 2020, and the biggest transaction since last November, when Kuwaiti heiress Samar Alghanim paid $8.5 million for her own Venice compound. This time around, the buyers are two-time NBA All-Star Bradley Beal, currently a shooting guard for the Washington Wizards, and his wife Kamiah Adams, a “Love & Hip Hop: Hollywood” television personality.
“Another name to watch is Bradley Beal. Until the season starts in Washington and he’s playing with them, I still think there’s a chance that the Washington Wizards will listen to offers because I think Tommy Sheppard, the GM there, understands that it’s part of the game,” Haberstroh expounded. “And with the No. 2 pick in the NBA draft, I expect the Golden State Warriors will try in every capacity to land someone like Jrue Holiday or Bradley Beal. Someone to be able to play in the backcourt with Stephen Curry and Klay Thompson, as they recover from injuries and be the star next to those guys and lead their next phase of the franchise.”
“I hate to say this, but I would [make a trade]. First off, to be able to get any of those talents, when you have the opportunity to, you have to,” Garnett told The Daily News on Tuesday while promoting responsible drinking with Crown Royal. “LeVert is a really, really good up-and-coming player. He has value. You can leverage that and get you a Zach LaVine who can score with the best of em… Bradley Beal the same. Those pieces there are intricate to the availability — I don’t know how long Bradley Beal is going to be there to be available for Brooklyn.”
According to NBC Sports NBA Insider Tom Haberstroh, the Warriors do have the trade assets required to obtain another star that has been rumored to potentially be on the market: Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal. “The Warriors certainly have the package to get the deal done,” Haberstroh told NBC Sports Bay Area. “But I wonder if the Wizards want to see Brad Beal next to John Wall and potentially Davis Bertans and Thomas Bryant next season.”
Of course, with the Pelicans already a playoff contender, they’ll be tempted to shop for the next disgruntled All-Star to ask out. Could that be a player like Bradley Beal or Victor Oladipo? That would reverse the Pelicans’ role, putting them on the opposite side of the table from when Davis forced his way out of New Orleans.
The rumors about a Beal trade have been persistent, but not much has changed. He is not ready to demand a deal and the Wizards are committed to keeping him. Ideally, the team would get John Wall back, work their Wall-Beal guard pairing back into shape with some of the young players they’ve brought in—Rui Hachimura, Moe Wagner, Troy Brown—and show Beal there is a future with the Wiz. But the condensed 2020-21 season will put a monkey wrench into that. Western Conference GM: “They’ve been adamant that they are not trading Bradley Beal. We have not asked about him but others have, they let it be known, he is not going anywhere. But you have to think that will change eventually as we get close to the deadline. They gave him an extension and that kicked the can down the road on making decisions but, you know, the road got shortened because of the coronavirus.”
Shams Charania of The Athletic said as much during a guest appearance in Complex’s Load Management podcast, noting that the Pelicans were among the teams to show interest in Beal: “New Orleans was a team that last year I heard looked into it… The Lakers at one point had interest in Beal. If you have interest in winning basketball games, you’re gonna have interest in Bradley Beal,” said Charania. “But everything he’s said so far, he wants to stay a Wizard. The Wizards have said they want to keep him. I don’t expect something on him until we see John Wall and Brad Beal play again.”
Complex Sports: The Lakers have shown interest in Bradley Beal “at different points” @ShamsCharania Episode: https://bit.ly/2Wy8Zfj
The Beal-should-be-traded storyline isn’t only media-driven. There are loads of people inside the league who believe the Wizards would be better off if they dealt him for young players and/or draft picks as soon as they could. Such is life when the NBA’s second-leading scorer plays on a .375 squad. And it’s not just the winning percentage.
The Beal-should-be-traded storyline isn’t only media-driven. There are loads of people inside the league who believe the Wizards would be better off if they dealt him for young players and/or draft picks as soon as they could. Such is life when the NBA’s second-leading scorer plays on a .375 squad. And it’s not just the winning percentage.
For background, the latest rumored suitor of Beal these days is the Nets. The New York Daily News reported last week that Brooklyn has “internally discussed” adding Beal as a third star alongside Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant. Keep in mind, of course, that it takes two to make a trade. And — stop if you’ve heard this before — the Wizards steadfastly do not want to trade Beal, sources say. Beal addressed the Nets report, among other topics, Friday on ESPN. “It’s not the first time I’ve heard this kind of talk,” he said. “It’s interesting. To me, I look at it as a sign of respect, that I’ve been doing good things and guys want to play with me.
The front office, meanwhile, believes the two can still be a top-of-the-line backcourt, even though Wall missed all of this season with an Achilles rupture and hasn’t played in an NBA game since December 2018. The point guard said on a conference call earlier this week that he’s now “110 percent.” The team expects him to be good to go for the start of next season’s training camp — whenever that might be.
Even in the middle of a pandemic, when nobody is playing, Bradley Beal’s name still emerged in trade rumors. The New York Daily News last week reported that the Brooklyn Nets have had “internal discussions” about pursuing the 26-year-old Wizards guard, who signed a two-year, $72 million extension in October. “It’s not the first time I’ve heard this kind of talk,” Beal told ESPN. “It’s interesting. To me, I look at it as a sign of respect, that I’ve been doing good things and guys want to play with me.
“That’s an unbelievable feeling. When you hear that Kyrie [Irving] and KD [Kevin Durant] want you, s—, that’s amazing. At the same time, you don’t know how much there is to it, or how easy it would be to do. And I’ve put down roots in D.C. I’ve dedicated myself to this town, this community. I love it here, and it would feel great to know I could grind out winning here instead of jumping to another team. “But I’d be naive to say that I don’t think about it when these stories come up.”
“My biggest thing right now is that I want to play with John [Wall] again,” Beal said. “I want to see him get back to that level where I know he can be, especially since my game has grown so much [while he’s been out]. What can we accomplish together? I’m so happy he’s healthy, working his tail off.”
Do you think the Nets will trade for Bradley Beal. What do you think they would have to give up? David Aldridge: No. At least not this summer. Wizards have zero interest in moving Beal, and certainly aren’t going to even think about doing so until he and Wall play together again for a season.
This is not just me guessing: They don’t want to trade Bradley Beal. They just don’t. And Bradley Beal just doesn’t want to be traded as much as everybody wants to trade him. Bradley Beal doesn’t want to be traded. And they have to get a monster offer to make it happen.
Bradley Beal’s agent does not expect the star shooting guard to be traded to the Brooklyn Nets or anyone else. “There are no Beal Sweepstakes and that’s why he re-signed with the Wizards,” agent Mark Bartelstein said Friday by phone. “Brad re-signed with the Wizards because he wanted to stay in Washington and the Wizards wanted to keep him there.”
Fred Katz: I absolutely do not think that they will trade Bradley Beal this summer. And I know that as of now, they don’t want to trade Bradley Beal this summer. They constantly say they don’t want to trade Bradley Beal and Bradley Beal doesn’t want to be traded. So I think when an organization wants to keep a player and a player doesn’t want to leave an organization, that player tends to stay with that organization. I don’t think he’s going to be traded.
Immersed in their championship window, the Brooklyn Nets are in the market for a third star and have internally discussed avenues of acquiring Wizards guard Bradley Beal, the Daily News has learned.
It’s unclear whether Beal will become available, though his circumstances have prompted speculation. The two-way guard is among the league’s highest-paid players and on a Wizards team with a low ceiling. He signed a two-year, $72 million extension last year that quelled trade rumors but Washinton (24-40) is again lottery-bound.
Jeff Siegel: Bradley Beal’s no-trade restriction would have lifted today, had the NBA season been on a normal schedule. If the Wizards were out of the playoffs, they could have traded with any other non-playoff team (though it’s exceedingly rare for a trade to be made in April or May).
Bradley Beal: For me, I look at Kobe, I look at D-Wade [Dwyane Wade], I look at Dirk [Nowitzki], U.D. [Udonis Haslem], how they can stay in one situation for a long time. I hate change. If it happens, it happens. But if I can control it, I will finish in D.C. For me, I am kind of loyal to a fault. I’m kind of like Dame [Damian Lillard] in this realm that it would probably mean so much more to you winning it in Portland or winning it in D.C., because you know you grinding all those years. Then once you eventually come out of that light, I feel like the feeling would be so much grander than necessarily jumping ship. Jumping ship is kind of the easy way out. But at the same time, there’s no guarantee that you’ll win.
Bradley Beal: I can sit here and say, ‘Yeah, I can go to Boston, I can go to Toronto, I can go to Miami’ … I can go everywhere everybody wants me to go. But what would that look like? It wouldn’t necessarily be my team to where now I’m in a situation in Washington where I’m being built around. I know I’m going to have to take these bumps and bruises. I knew this last summer. I knew this, hell, the summer maybe even before that. You just got to grind it out, and stand true to who you are.
After those conversations, it was clear to him that staying in Washington was better than chasing rings through requesting a trade. “Honestly, I thought that was kind of the easy way out,” Beal said. “It’ll feel more meaningful and powerful knowing that I grinded it out doing it in D.C. It’s pretty much my team, I’m the franchise here, so it was kind of destined for me to kind of mold it from here.”
Beal is “more so giving (Sheppard) a chance now that he’s in charge,” someone with knowledge of Beal’s thinking told me Thursday. “If (there’s) no progress, he’ll get moved with a big paycheck.”
Tim Bontemps: The number one topic of discussion among scouts and executives over the past couple months has been when, or if, Bradley Beal will be traded. Now that he won’t be, as @Adrian Wojnarowski reports his extension agreement in DC, the league’s biggest potential trade piece is now off the board.
Fred Katz: The Wizards have insisted to anyone who would listen that Bradley Beal wasn’t available in any kind of trade talks. Well, this is why. Beal extends effectively for one season (player option on the second year) and the Wizards move forward with their guy.
Albert Nahmad: Bradley Beal can’t be traded for 6 months. But his 15% trade bonus becomes active the moment he signs the extension. So if he’s traded after that, it could create a serious windfall (effectively making extension pay more than his true free agent max). And he’d be full Bird after.
As part of the extension, Bradley Beal has a 15% trade kicker. The guard also has unique language when it comes to the player option in 2022-23. From when the extension is signed and until June 2023, Beal can decline or exercise the option. Because a player option is excluded when factoring in the value of the trade bonus at the time of the trade, opting-in to the last year would increase the bonus owed. The trade kicker could range between $6-9M. Beal is not eligible to be traded until after the 2019-20 season because the first year of his extension is greater than 5% from his 2020-21 salary.
The Wizards, the Knicks’ opponent in their preseason opener on Monday, are considered one of the Eastern Conference’s bottom-feeders, leading to speculation shooting guard Bradley Beal could be put on the trading block. That would be of interest to the Knicks, considering their slew of expiring contracts. The Knicks’ signees can’t be dealt until Dec. 15.
“This league is wide open,” one person who works in a rival front office said via text message. “Take any of the what, eight contenders, right now. I think if you add an All-Star to any of them, they become the title favorite. Everyone is hungrier than ever to win. Sure you could trade for Kevin Love, Blake (Griffin), maybe (DeMar) DeRozan, but they all come with question marks. Bradley Beal fits on every team. He’s 26 with two years left under contract and you’d expect him to be available soon.”
Of course, Boston is a potential player in any trade negotiation because of its two young wings, Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. Tatum is likely untouchable, but with Brown entering a contract year and playing a similar position, he could be the centerpiece of a deal for Beal or Love. Even without those two, a package such as the Memphis pick, Boston’s own first and either Grant Williams or Romeo Langford would be a compelling asset package, one that would potentially tempt teams to swallow the rest of Hayward’s deal and send the Celtics a high-level starter.
Denver’s biggest limitations are 1) the future first-round pick it owes Oklahoma City from the Jerami Grant trade and 2) its own rosy future, which limits the future value teams would place on one of their firsts. Nonetheless, a Nuggets package built around Harris and a couple of other assets would have to pique Washington’s interest in a Beal discussion, and you can also imagine Denver pursuing other secondary stars with the types of packages it can put together.
For now, newly appointed Wizards GM Tommy Sheppard is committed to keeping Beal in Washington. “The way that I look at this is pretty simple: If you were looking to build a team, Brad would be the type of player anyone would want to start with,” Sheppard told CBS Sports. “You look at the character, the talent, the age, just the whole package … Brad is without a doubt a core player in this league. Every team would love to have him, and we do.”
Tommy Sheppard: “So we’ve never considered anything other than a situation where Brad is with us and leading us forward. We made that clear to him on the first day we could offer him an extension, and we’ll continue to make that clear.”
Beal checks the age and fit boxes. Whether he has enough raw, supernova talent — Beal has made one All-Star roster and zero All-NBA teams — is something each suitor will have to decide based in part on who is already on its team (and if the Wizards ever make Beal available, which they have not, per sources).
But if Beal decides to move on from Washington and become a free agent in 2021, the associate — who requested anonymity because he’s not authorized to speak on Beal’s behalf — said he expects the Heat to receive serious consideration. The associate would not call the Heat or any specific team the favorite if Beal decides to leave Washington, noting other teams also would be considered.
The Wizards, at this point, have been given no reason to believe he wants to go elsewhere. And they likely won’t trade him unless they are given that indication. The Wizards, at this point, have been given no reason to believe he wants to go elsewhere. And they likely won’t trade him unless they are given that indication. What we know for sure is the Heat loves Beal and hopes to land him either before 2021 free agency or during. We also know that for whatever reason, Jimmy Butler followed Beal recently on social media.
As we reported in early July, that scenario has been seriously discussed inside the Heat and there’s sentiment to do that, because of how much the Heat loves Beal and because of the internal belief that Miami can get Wall back to All-Star level following his ruptured Achilles, which is expected to sideline him this upcoming season. But the Wizards have shown no inclination to package Beal with Wall in an attempt to purge the final four years and $171 million of Wall’s contract.
If Beal passes on the extension, the Wizards have no plans to engage in trade talks with two years, $55.8 million left on his contract, Sheppard said.
Barry Jackson: Next significant event for Heat could be re-engaging with Wizards if Beal rejects three year, 111 M extension he’s eligible to sign after July 26. For now, Wizards have rejected all trade overtures on Beal, a potential 2021 free agent
John Wall or Bradley Beal, Wizards: League sources say that Beal isn’t currently available, though that could change by the deadline.
Bam Adebayo: Hey Big Head 👋🏾
Meanwhile, even though the Heat has displayed strong interest in trading for Washington guard Bradley Beal, Wizards vice president/basketball operations Tommy Sheppard told The Athletic that Washington has given no thought to trading Beal. “Not at all,” Sheppard said. “It’s never crossed our mind. Bradley is somebody we’re building around. He’s been involved with everything we’re doing in the draft, free agency. We need his opinion. We want this team to be a reflection of what he is all about.”
According to sources, there is sentiment inside the the Heat to take the final four years and $171 million of injured point guard John Wall’s contract if it would allow Miami to land Beal, who is eligible for free agency in the summer of 2021. But Washington appears unwilling to do that at this time.
A secondary market is now developing for players available via buyout and trade. With next summer’s free-agent class less deep, front offices expect trades to take center stage over the next 12 months. One name on everyone’s lips in this regard is Bradley Beal as the Washington Wizards face a significant rebuild. But as of now, sources said, the Wizards are resisting such inquiries.
The Wizards have no interest in trading Bradley Beal right now. Things can change. Such is life. But they have no interest. And by the way, beyond all the salary Miami would have to give back for Wall/Beal, Heat are hard capped Bc of Butler S&T. I can’t see it happening.
While his name surfaced in trade rumors following John Wall’s season-ending Achilles’ injury in February, Beal said that Leonsis, Sheppard and Coach Scott Brooks have each independently told him in recent weeks that he would not be moved. “They’ve been very transparent and that’s been great,” Beal said. “They’re not keeping me in the dark about anything, even about the trade rumors. . . . It’s great having that peace of mind.”
Boston missed out on Davis, but don’t think he was Danny Ainge’s only target, especially with a trove of young players and draft picks that he can dangle to upgrade the roster. “What is Danny Ainge planning that we’re not thinking of right now?” says a league source. “I’m sure Danny has something up his sleeve.” Multiple sources point to Bradley Beal as prime option—particularly if Irving leaves. Beal is coming off his best season and showed a wider range of skills after the Wizards lost John Wall at the end of December.
While the Washington Wizards struggled defensively last season, the organization is holding firm when it comes to rebuffing offers for Bradley Beal. The New Orleans Pelicans showed sincere interest in the two-time All-Star before Saturday’s blockbuster that sent Anthony Davis to the Los Angeles Lakers. That curiosity remains and the two sides broadly discussed a trade scenario involving Beal, multiple sources told NBC Sports Washington.
The Pelicans are open to dealing the newly acquired fourth overall selection in Thursday’s NBA Draft according to numerous reports. New Orleans also landed three young players from Los Angeles — Lonzo Ball, Brandon Ingram and Josh Hart — plus additional future picks and pick swaps. Whatever the initial parameters, the conversation never veered close to actual negotiations, according to a source.
Either way, this saga needed a finale, and the Pelicans’ future is set up nicely now. They have a bevy of young, talented pieces coming in, and soon-to-be No. 1 overall pick Zion Williamson ready to be the face of the franchise along with Jrue Holiday. Griffin has been open to moving the No. 4 overall pick, and one player league executives believe the Pelicans are monitoring in a potential trade is Washington Wizards All-Star Bradley Beal, sources said. But Wizards interim president Tommy Sheppard is running the Washington front office as of now, and the franchise has been adamant for months that it hopes to build around Beal.
League front-office sources don’t expect the Wizards to even consider moving Bradley Beal unless offers are overwhelming. And they could be. Beal made a leap last season as a playmaker while maintaining his versatile scoring at a higher volume, and he turns 26 this summer with two years left on his contract. Maybe if Durant goes to the Nets, the Knicks get desperate. The Rockets reportedly offered four first-round picks for Jimmy Butler, what would Houston give up for Beal? The Wizards may not want to deal their only healthy All-Star, but with only two years left on his contract, now’s the time for teams to start calling and for Washington to start listening.
If Leonsis insists on keeping Beal, as league sources indicate remains his thinking, well, you can’t dismiss that as folly. Having asked a few people around the league who know what they’re doing, a number of them said if they were in Washington’s shoes, they’d hold onto Beal and figure out the rest later.
Bringing young, impressionable players into the fold won’t solve all issues if the culture reeks. That’s not to suggest what the Wizards have is rotten even though last year’s laborious start to the season stemmed in part from a contentious vibe. It’s to say that the mature Beal, a natural leader despite not turning 26 until next month, is the tone-setter this franchise needs. “Keep Beal as the vet who sets the culture, identity,” a league source familiar with the Wizards’ situation told NBC Sports Washington.
If there’s a deal with the Lakers, most sources would want Ball involved regardless of any parent distractions from his attention-seeking father, Lavar. “People just don’t grasp how good he is,” a source said.
The Lakers have other players they’re targeting in trades, according to league sources. Chief among them is Wizards guard Bradley Beal, though with the Wizards not yet hiring a front office honcho, no decision has been made whether to trade Beal. But LA will be in position to make an attractive offer if Beal is put on the block.
If Beal gets All-NBA honors, he will be eligible for a supermax contract. It wouldn’t begin until the 2021-22 season, but it is projected to be worth $194 million over four years. His deal would start at over $40 million annually. The Wizards already have John Wall signed to a supermax deal, which kicks in next season. He will be making $43.9 million in 2021-22. He and Beal would account for roughly three-quarters of the salary cap that season.
As long as Beal, who turns 26 in June, remains an All-Star talent and under contract, they have options. If they felt they had to trade him, they could get plenty of assets in return. It would just be a difficult and possibly ugly process to go through. It all hinges on the All-NBA announcement. If Beal doesn’t make the team, everyone moves on like nothing happened. If he does get it, everything changes for him, the Wizards and their offseason.
The Wizards could, in theory, sign Beal to a supermax and just deal with it later. They would have two full seasons before the contract begins. By then, Wall should be healthy and have at least a full year of games under his belt and maybe more if he returns next season. But delaying the inevitable is not a sound strategy. If extending Beal backfires either as a singular move or in conjunction with Wall’s deal, it could strap the franchise for many years to come. All of this makes a supermax offer in the event Beal becomes eligible potentially a decision so massive it could be the most important call the next GM makes in their entire tenure in Washington. And that GM may have to make that decision within months of taking the job.
Do you start to build a new team around him — maybe by taking a point guard with what should be a top-10 pick in the draft, and try to again play fast next season? Or do you move Beal, at the absolute apex of his value, coming off his best season, and having proven he can get through 82 games relatively unscathed? “I’m not saying you have to trade him,” an executive from one of this year’s top teams told me on Monday — before the Wizards announced Grunfeld’s dismissal. “But you do have to think about it.”
Chris Haynes on which star may be available next: “I just got Bradley Beal on my podcast and I straight up told Bradley, ‘Man, look, the Washington Wizards probably should’ve broken this team up a few years ago.’ John Wall is out for a year. They traded Otto Porter. Is Bradley Beal the next guy? Is it time to move on [from him]? I think Washington has to do some self-reflecting. It may be time to move on from Bradley. And Bradley isn’t the type of guy who’s going to ask [for a trade] or want out; he’s a loyal dude. He’s a real loyal dude. But it might be in their best interest to trade him.”
You were mentioned in trade rumors quite a bit earlier this season. How did you react to that? Bradley Beal: I wasn’t bothered, honestly. In a way, it’s kind of [confirmation] teams want me. It’s kind of [flattering]. In a way, it’s like, “Dang, this is pretty cool.” But, at the same time, I hate change. You never want to have up and move, you don’t want to have to leave [for a new team and city].
The Wizards tried their best to put to rest any notion Beal could be gone last week. The team never engaged in trade discussions involving Beal before Feb. 7’s deadline, according to sources with knowledge of the situation. And team president Ernie Grunfeld told The Athletic last week that he has “no intention of trading Bradley.” “We wanna have him as part of our group moving forward for a long time,” Grunfeld said.
Beal, though, can already imagine the drawbacks of requesting a trade. He sees the mess that Anthony Davis and the Pelicans are dealing with in New Orleans and doesn’t want that for himself. “I always feel like if I requested a trade, and I didn’t get traded, there’s no way in hell I’m gonna be able to go and play with my teammates who know I don’t want to be here. That’s mind-boggling to me,” he said.
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January 16, 2021 | 5:54 am EST Update
Instead of sulking with his successor standing on the sidelines in street clothes, Drummond gave everyone — Cleveland’s front office, Bickerstaff, the rest of the NBA — something to think about, even if he didn’t enter the night specifically looking to prove a point. “I play the same way each and every night,” Drummond said. “The trade, it is what it is. There’s nothing I can do about that. If I do get traded, I don’t control that either. I’m just here to play basketball with whatever jersey I have on. That’s all I can focus on right now.”
Bickerstaff also hears the trade chatter. He’s talked with Drummond about it. “The optics are obvious,” Bickerstaff admitted. “But Dre and I have developed a great relationship up to this point. It’s a relationship that’s built on trust and honesty.” Drummond was asked about his reaction to the deal. He used the term “happy,” calling Allen and Prince “very, very good players.” And he backed up those words.
“The reason I’m having so much fun is I’m in a new environment, I’m in a new city and I love the guys that are here,” Drummond said. “It’s hard not to play hard here, having 12 guys that want to give it their all each and every night. It makes it fun to be out there.” Before the front office takes the next (logical) step toward unclogging the frontcourt by moving either Drummond or cheaper veteran JaVale McGee, who is also on an expiring contract and will garner interest, it’s worth considering how that would affect the team’s chances of staying competitive.
Justin Kubatko: The @Cleveland Cavaliers Andre Drummond has recorded his 43rd career game with at least 20 points and 20 rebounds, breaking a tie with Hakeem Olajuwon for the third-most such games since the ABA-NBA merger: 109 – Moses Malone. 51 – Dwight Howard. 43 – Drummond. 42 – Olajuwon. 41 – Charles Barkley.
Dallas Mavericks superstar Luka Doncic animatedly expressed his dismay that coach Rick Carlisle didn’t use the team’s final timeout during a critical possession in the final minute of a 112-109 road loss to the Milwaukee Bucks on Friday night. The possession, which occurred with the Mavs trailing by two points, ended with Kristaps Porzingis badly missing a contested 3-pointer with 10.4 seconds remaining. After the Mavs took a foul seconds later, Doncic angrily gestured toward the Dallas bench, repeatedly forming a T with his hands to indicate that a timeout should have been called.
“It’s Coach’s decision, but if we would have made the shot, everything would be good,” said Doncic, who had 29 points, 9 rebounds and 13 assists in the loss, accounting for 61 of the Mavs’ 81 points when he was on the floor. “… But I don’t know. It’s Coach’s decision to call a timeout or no, so I think it’s good.” Doncic said he had not discussed the situation with Carlisle yet and declined to say if he intended to have that conversation with his coach. “If we talk, we’re going to talk,” Doncic said. “It’s not going to be in the media. It’s between us.”