Bradley Beal

Pelicans Have Shown Interest In Bradley Beal

Before reaching an agreement on Saturday to send Anthony Davis to the Lakers, the Pelicans showed “sincere interest” in Wizards guard Bradley Beal, according to Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington. Sources tell Standig that New Orleans remains interested in Beal and that the two teams “broadly” discussed a trade scenario involving the All-Star guard.

Despite the interest from the Pelicans and other contenders, the sense from league sources is that the Wizards still plan on keeping Beal, says Standig. The discussions between Washington and New Orleans “never veered close to actual negotiations,” a source tells NBC Sports Washington.

While the package the Pelicans secured from the Lakers in exchange for Davis is heavy on young players and future draft picks, there have been plenty of rumors suggesting that New Orleans would be interested in flipping this year’s No. 4 pick or other assets for a veteran.

Beal would be a best-case scenario for the Pels, but the Wizards have resisted the idea of trading the standout guard, despite the fact that he’ll be without his backcourt mate John Wall (torn Achilles) for most or all of the 2019/20 season. Washington has yet to name a permanent head of basketball operations, but Tommy Sheppard is running the front office on an interim basis and it appears that he and owner Ted Leonsis are averse to moving the club’s most valuable player.

This is the second time this week that we’ve heard of the Pelicans’ potential interest in Beal, as Shams Charania of The Athletic reported on Monday that league executives believed New Orleans was monitoring the Wizards guard.

Latest From Charania: Davis, Beal, Irving, Conley, Suns

The Knicks discussed a trade package for Anthony Davis that included Frank Ntilikina, Dennis Smith, Thursday’s No. 3 overall pick and other draft compensation, but they never fully offered forward Kevin Knox and Mitchell Robinson, Shams Charania of The Athletic reports. The Pelicans weren’t particularly high on either Knox or Robinson anyway but the Knicks were reluctant to jeopardize their future flexibility because they weren’t convinced Davis would re-sign with them.

Contrary to other reports, the Celtics were open to discussing Jayson Tatum and the future first-rounder owed by the Grizzlies in a trade package for Davis but didn’t want to part with both of those assets, Charania continues. Boston’s unwillingness to give up multiple major assets tipped the scale in the Lakers’ favor. The Nets also made a bid, Charania adds, but the Pelicans weren’t enamored with their available assets, especially since the Nets couldn’t include restricted free agent D’Angelo Russell.

Here are more highlights from Charania:

  • The Rockets were willing to get involved in three-team scenarios in Davis trade talks with Clint Capela being dangled.
  • The Pelicans are monitoring the Wizards’ interest in trading All-Star guard Bradley Beal.
  • The Celtics and impending free agent Kyrie Irving will meet soon, possibly before the draft, to discuss his future with the organization.
  • The Grizzlies have ramped up trade talks involving point guard Mike Conley. The Jazz are the leading contenders for Conley’s services.
  • The Suns have discussed moving the No. 6 pick, as well as forwards T.J. Warren and Josh Jackson, in separate trade packages.

Southeast Notes: Beal, Dragic, Reddish

While Wizards owner Ted Leonsis is reluctant to trade Bradley Beal, doing so may represent the team’s quickest path to contention, David Aldridge of The Athletic writes.

Beal is an enormously valuable asset that could net a batch of valuable assets. The Wizards, then, could focus on John Wall‘s rehabilitation in hopes of surrounding him with a strong rotation once he’s healthy.

Aldridge clarifies that the Wizards shouldn’t trade Beal because of any shortcomings, in fact, the opposite. An abundance of teams are clearing space to sign max free agents this summer but there’s only so much top talent to go around.

Beal, as a result, could draw a significant return if the Wizards are willing to leverage the 25-year-old’s excellent 2018/19 campaign.

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

Team USA Announces 20-Player Camp Roster For World Cup

USA Basketball has officially announced the group of 20 players that will participate in training camp this summer in advance of the 2019 FIBA World Cup. The camp will take place from August 5-9, and will be used to select the 12-man roster for this year’s World Cup in China.

The 20-man training camp roster is as follows:

  1. Harrison Barnes (Kings)
  2. Bradley Beal (Wizards)
  3. Anthony Davis (Pelicans)
  4. Andre Drummond (Pistons)
  5. Eric Gordon (Rockets)
  6. James Harden (Rockets)
  7. Tobias Harris (Sixers / FA)
  8. Kyle Kuzma (Lakers)
  9. Damian Lillard (Trail Blazers)
  10. Brook Lopez (Bucks / FA)
  11. Kevin Love (Cavaliers)
  12. Kyle Lowry (Raptors)
  13. CJ McCollum (Trail Blazers)
  14. Khris Middleton (Bucks)
  15. Paul Millsap (Nuggets)
  16. Donovan Mitchell (Jazz)
  17. Jayson Tatum (Celtics)
  18. Myles Turner (Pacers)
  19. P.J. Tucker (Rockets)
  20. Kemba Walker (Hornets / FA)

“I am excited about getting to training camp in August and working with all of the players that have been selected to attend the USA National Team training camp in Las Vegas,” Team USA head coach Gregg Popovich said in a statement. “We’ve got an excellent cross-section of veteran USA Basketball and NBA players, as well as some exciting younger players who possess amazing versatility.

“I’m appreciative of commitment that our National Team players continue to make, and the eagerness of the new players to become involved,” Popovich continued. “Selecting a 12-man team will be extremely difficult.”

It will be an eventful summer for many of the players on the 20-man Team USA training camp roster. Besides Harris, Lopez, and Walker, who are all headed for unrestricted free agency and could be on new teams by August, players like Barnes, Middleton, and Millsap could reach the open market if their player or team options are declined. Others – including Davis, Gordon, Kuzma, Tatum, and Tucker – have been mentioned in trade rumors.

Kuzma and Mitchell are the only players on the roster who haven’t played internationally for Team USA in the past. Five player on the roster (Barnes, Davis, Harden, Love, and Lowry) have won gold medals for USA Basketball at the 2012 or 2016 Olympics, while two others (Drummond and Gordon) have taken home gold at previous World Cups.

Previous reports indicated that Zion Williamson, John Collins, and Marvin Bagley are expected to be among the players named to a 10-man select team that will scrimmage with Team USA’s 20-man roster at the training camp in August.

Wizards Notes: Brown, Workouts, GM Search

Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington sat down with Wizards rookie Troy Brown Jr. to discuss his first year in the NBA, which began with an overwhelming welcome at the combine and finished with Brown becoming a calmer, wiser, 19-year-old man.

“I wouldn’t say I was lost (in regard to the 2018 NBA Combine), but I didn’t know what to expect,” Brown said. “I was just kind of going about things, trying to do everything the best I could. …I knew I was going to get drafted, but it was more about the work that I put in. Is it going to happen? I want to go this number (in the draft). There’s a lot of stuff running through your brain.”

Immediate expectations for Brown’s rookie season were not very high, as Washington came into the season with playoff aspirations and more. But after a disappointing 2018/19 campaign, Brown may be the most important player on the roster long term after All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal.

“It’s definitely weird not knowing who is going to be back and knowing our whole roster (might) be different… (but) (a)t the same time, you know it’s a business… I’m kind of use to it now. I had 24 teammates in one year.”

There’s more out of D.C. tonight:

More Names Revealed For Team USA World Cup Tryouts

Team USA’s training camp roster for the FIBA World Cup will be announced next week, but four players have already been confirmed, tweets Marc Stein of The New York Times.

Anthony Davis, James Harden, Donovan Mitchell and Kemba Walker will definitely be part of the team, while the other 14 slots are still being worked out. The roster will be trimmed to 12 when the players gather in Las Vegas in early August to prepare for the tournament, which takes place from August 31 to September 15 in China.

ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski drops a few more names in a full story on the World Cup tryouts, which sources tell him are also expected to include Damian Lillard, C.J. McCollum, Bradley Beal and Kevin Love. Others planning to be part of the camp include Eric Gordon, Jayson Tatum, Khris Middleton, Brook Lopez, LaMarcus Aldridge, Andre Drummond and Kyle Kuzma.

P.J. Tucker will attend training camp as well, tweets ESPN’s Tim MacMahon, and league sources tell Woj that Paul Millsap also plans to be there. Other names leaked for the camp are Tobias Harris (Twitter link from Keith Pompey of The Philadelphia Inquirer) and Myles Turner (Twitter link from Scott Agness of the Athletic).

Zion Williamson, expected to be the first pick in the draft later this month, has been invited to camp as part of the 10-man select team that will scrimmage against the 18-man roster, Stein tweets. Williamson will be given a chance to play his way onto the final roster if he has a standout performance in that role, according to USA Basketball chairman Jerry Colangelo (Twitter link).

The select team will also include John Collins and Marvin Bagley, tweets Tim Bomtemps of ESPN.

The camp will be held from August 5-8, with exhibition games to follow before the start of World Cup play. Gregg Popovich will serve as head coach.

Wizards Notes: Beal, Wall, White, Draft

Retaining Bradley Beal in his prime, rather than trading him for assets, might be the best course of action for the Wizards, Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington argues. Beal could be the ideal role model to establish a new identity and culture for the franchise, Standig continues. Beal could be the main locker room leader next season with John Wall recovering from his Achilles injury and he’d embrace that role, Standig notes. Giving Beal that power might deepen his connection to the franchise’s long-term success, Standig adds.

We have more on the Wizards:

  • With Wall’s super-max extension kicking in, owner Ted Leonsis wants his star point guard to take all the time necessary to make sure he’s fully ready when he starts playing again, as Leonsis expressed in an NBC Sports podcast and relayed by Chase Hughes“John understands his commitment will show from this rehab,” Leonsis said. “If it takes the whole season, we don’t care. We are not putting pressure on you on a time. Make sure that you are rehabilitating in the right way so that when you do come back, you don’t have that little voice in your head [saying], ‘Did I do everything the right way to be able to come back and be a great, great player?'”
  • North Carolina shooting guard Coby White and Kentucky small forward Keldon Johnson are among the prospects the Wizards are bringing in for workouts, Hughes reports in post written by NBC Sports Washington’s Josh Luckenbaugh. White is currently ranked No. 8 overall by ESPN’s Jonathan Givony and the Wizards have the ninth pick. Johnson is ranked at No. 19. The Wizards will also soon bring in Georgetown’s Trey Mourning, Duke’s Marques Bolden and Temple’s Shizz Alston Jr.
  • Unless the franchise promotes interim president Tommy Sheppard and ends its long search for a new front office leader to replace Ernie Grunfeld, it’s unknown who will determine Washington’s draft decisions this month, Hughes writes in a separate story.

Southeast Notes: Allen, Hornets Workouts, Beal, Young

Malik Allen was the only member of Tom Thibodeau’s former staff who was retained by the Timberwolves after Ryan Saunders had the interim tag removed earlier this week. However, Allen may be on the move as well. He has emerged as a prime candidate to replace Juwan Howard on Erik Spoelstra’s staff, Marc Stein of the New York Times tweets. Howard left the Heat to take the University of  Michigan head coaching job.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Hornets are bringing in six prospects for a workout on Saturday, Rick Bonnell of the Charlotte Observer tweets. That group includes Ar’Mond Davis (UC Santa Barbara), Jon Axel Gudmundsson (Davidson), Nathan Knight (William & Mary), Reggie Perry (Mississippi State), Josh Reaves (Penn State) and Quinndary Weatherspoon (Mississippi State). Weatherspoon, a shooting guard, heads that group as ESPN Jonathan Givony’s No. 57 overall prospect.
  • Bradley Beal didn’t become eligible for a supermax extension as he was left off the All-NBA teams. The Wizards shooting guard could still be on the move this summer, Ben Standig of NBC Sports Washington writes. If Washington decides to rebuild, it could trade Beal for assets and salary cap space. In Standig’s view, the Lakers, Celtics and Knicks could be among the most likely destinations, particularly if they strike out in pursuit of high-level free agents.
  • Hawks point guard Trae Young believes his style of play will help bring in quality free agents, as he declared in an interview with 92.9 The Game (hat tip to E. Jay Zarett of the Sporting News). “If you’re looking to have the ball in your hands, if you’re looking to score a lot of points – I mean, a lot of players in the league know if you come play with me, I’m going to make sure I get you the ball,” Young said. “I think that’s something that attracts a lot of big players.”

Deveney’s Latest: Conley, Heat, Lakers, Celtics

With the Grizzlies reportedly zeroing in on point guard Ja Morant at No. 2 in this year’s draft, Mike Conley‘s future in Memphis appears very much up in the air.

Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who reported in March that the Jazz are candidates to re-engage the Grizzlies in Conley trade talks this offseason, reiterated that point this week. However, according to Sean Deveney of Sporting News, Memphis is in the market for “quality” draft picks. Utah holds the No. 23 pick and may not pick in the top 20 anytime soon, so it could be tricky for the club to entice the Grizzlies with a package.

One team to watch in the Conley sweepstakes is Miami, according to Deveney, who writes that Heat president Pat Riley has “long coveted” the veteran point guard. The Heat may not be able to draft a difference-maker at No. 13, and acquiring Conley would allow the club to avoid rolling the dice in free agency in 2020, when few impact players are expected to hit the market.

Here’s more from Deveney on Conley and a few other topics:

  • Deveney also identifies the Pacers and Mavericks as possible suitors for Conley, though Indiana’s cap flexibility may be compromised if the team decides to re-sign a few of its own free agents, making Conley’s contract undesirable.
  • Even if the Lakers can’t acquire Anthony Davis, there’s a sense that they’ll be active on the trade market, writes Deveney. The team has several potential targets in mind, with Bradley Beal at or near the top of that list, depending on whether the Wizards make him available. According to Deveney, Kyle Lowry may also be a target if the Raptors lose Kawhi Leonard in free agency and retool their roster. The Lakers like Derrick Favors too, Deveney adds. Favors could be either a free agent or trade target, depending on what the Jazz do with his $17.65MM team option.
  • There’s some skepticism that the Celtics will use all three of their first-round picks in this year’s draft (Nos. 14, 20, and 22). The type of deal(s) that Boston will pursue may depend on what they expect to happen with Kyrie Irving.

Eastern Notes: Wizards, Robinson, Celtics

Bradley Beal making the league’s All-NBA team could change the course of the Wizards‘ franchise, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports writes. If Beal earns the nod, then he will be eligible for a super-max contract that starts at 35% of the salary cap.

[Related: How All-NBA Choices Impact Contract Situations]

There’s no guarantee that Washington offers that kind of deal to Beal if the organization gains the ability to do so. It’s also not certain that Beal would accept it. Hughes argues the Wizards will be left with no choice but to trade Beal if they decide against offering the super-max contract or Beal opts against accepting it.

Here’s more from around the Eastern Conference:

  • Many within the NBA believe Mitchell Robinson possesses the highest ceiling of any current member of the Knicks, Marc Stein of The New York Times writes in his latest newsletter. Stein compares Robinson’s potential to Clint Capela‘s game, writing that Robinson could become better than the Rockets big man.
  • Rookie Allonzo Trier didn’t hear his name called on draft night but Stein (in the same piece) believes that was a mistake. Trier played in 64 games for the Knicks this season.
  • The Celtics brought in Cam Johnson (North Carolina), Quinndary Weatherspoon (Mississippi State) and Justin Robinson (Virginia Tech) for workouts, according to Adam Himmelsbach of the Boston Globe (Twitter link). Boston could end up with as many as four first-round picks in the upcoming draft.