NBA Rumor: Bradley Beal Trade?

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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.”

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.”

Wizards, Bradley Beal still not looking for a trade

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.

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.”

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.”

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.

Bradley Beal's agent: 'He doesn't want to quit'

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.”

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.

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.

Bradley Beal expresses he wants to remain with the Wizards

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.

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.

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 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.

NBA execs: Knicks have the draft capital but not the personnel for a Bradley Beal trade

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.”

Wizards don't want to trade Bradley Beal

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.

Adrian Wojnarowski on Bradley Beal: 'He’s not expressed really at all yet that he’s ready to move on'

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.”

Lakers, Clippers would like to get on Bradley Beal sweepstakes

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.

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.

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.

Bradley Beal Plan B for Miami?

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.”

Wizards GM: 'We're building this team around Bradley Beal'

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.”

“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.”

“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

Bradley Beal on Wizards: I want to be here

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.”

Bradley Beal buys house in Los Angeles

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.”
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