High-scoring Wizards star Bradley Beal hasn’t issued a trade request yet, but a report this morning that he’s considering it has the rest of the league ready to pounce. Washington is in a precarious position with Beal, who can decline his $36.4MM player option next summer and become an unrestricted free agent.
Beal is said to be considering that the Wizards may start a rebuilding process if they decide to move him, which is no doubt why the report was leaked on the weekend before the draft. Beal would like to join a contender, and sources identified the Warriors, Celtics, Heat and Sixers as possible trade destinations.
Golden State is in the best position if Washington wants draft picks in return. The Warriors hold the No. 7 and No. 14 selections in this year’s lottery and may be willing to part with last year’s No. 2 pick, center James Wiseman, to get their hands on Beal, who is reportedly at the top of their wish list. Andrew Wiggins would likely have to be included to match salary.
In Boston, Beal would be able to unite with his close friend and fellow St. Louis native Jayson Tatum. Washington may ask for Jaylen Brown in return, but the Celtics would be reluctant to part with Brown when they can open enough cap space to sign Beal in 2022. Al Horford‘s $27MM salary would go a long way toward matching purposes, and he is only guaranteed $14.5MM for 2022/23 if he is released before the start of that season. Boston could load its offer with future picks and possibly arrange a sign-and-trade involving free agent guard Evan Fournier, who plays the same position as Beal.
The Heat are at a disadvantage when it comes to draft assets, not holding any picks this year and having future first-rounders tied up as a result of trading a protected 2023 pick. Miami has team options on Goran Dragic ($19.44MM) and Andre Iguodala ($15MM), who can both help with salary matching, but young assets such as Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson and Kendrick Nunn may not be enough to interest the Wizards.
The Sixers would almost certainly have to move Ben Simmons in a trade for Beal, either to Washington or to someone else in a multi-team deal. Philadelphia is also low on draft assets, but throwing in young players such as Matisse Thybulle or Tyrese Maxey could appeal to Washington.
We want to get your input. Do you believe Beal will be moved this summer and where do you think he should go? Please leave your responses in the comments section.