Bradley Beal

Wizards Notes: Dunn, Davis, Beal, Henry

Former lottery pick and free agent guard Kris Dunn will participate in a Wizards mini-camp this weekend, Josh Robbins of The Athletic tweets. Dunn was the fifth pick of the 2017 draft

Dunn spent one season with the Timberwolves and three with the Bulls before joining the Hawks during the 2020/21 season, where he only saw action for four games due to an ankle injury. He struggled to get another NBA job last season until March, when he received a 10-day contract with Portland. He finished last season with the Trail Blazers, averaging 7.6 PPG and 5.6 APG in 24 MPG over 14 games.

We have more on the Wizards:

  • President of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard said lottery pick Johnny Davis not only fills a need in the backcourt, he’s also a high-character individual, Ava Wallace of the Washington Post writes. “Out on the floor, he understands the game very well. He’s a quick learner — we couldn’t find a coach who could compliment him enough about his basketball IQ, his character, his athleticism,” Sheppard said. “I think he’s an underrated passer — I’m going to continue to say he’s a great passer. He didn’t pass a whole lot in college, so I’m trying to encourage him subliminally to pass a little bit more.”
  • Sheppard said he’ll meet with franchise player Bradley Beal when free agency begins June 30, Robbins tweets. Beal is reportedly declining his $36.4MM option in order to enter the free agent but he’s widely expected to re-sign with Washington. He is eligible for a new five-year contract with the Wizards worth a projected $247MM+. The most a rival team could offer him in free agency would be a projected $183.6MM over four years.
  • Pierriá Henry will also attend the team’s mini-camp this week, according to Robbins (Twitter links). The 29-year-old Henry, a 6-foot-4 point guard who led Fenerbahçe to the 2021/22 Turkish Super League title, finished fourth in the EuroLeague Best Defender voting. Devon Dotson and Tahjere McCall will be among the other participants. Dotson played 22 games with the Bulls over the past two seasons.

Bradley Beal To Decline Option, Enter Free Agency

Bradley Beal will decline his $36.4MM player option in order to become an unrestricted free agent, Michael Scotto of Hoops Hype reports via a source.

It’s long been anticipated that Beal would decline the option and sign a long-term deal. He indicated in both March and May that he was leaning toward re-signing with the Wizards.

Beal, who missed the final 33 games of the season because of an injured left wrist, is eligible for a new five-year contract with the Wizards worth a projected $247MM+. The most a rival team could offer him in free agency would be a projected $183.6MM over four years.

Beal offered a cryptic reply to the report on Twitter, stating “Wait huh? Lol.”

He said the recovery process from the wrist injury is going well and estimates that 80-90% of his range of motion has returned.  He averaged 23.2 PPG, 6.6 APG, and 4.7 RPG across 40 contests, on .451/.300/.833 shooting.

Beal has been the subject of trade rumors for years but has so far remained loyal to Washington. Presuming he re-signs with the Wizards, he’ll get a chance to play a full season with midseason acquisition Kristaps Porzingis. Beal’s backcourt partner for next season remains a mystery — Washington is expected to clear its logjam at the forward spots and seek to improve its backcourt situation. The team also holds a lottery pick at the No. 10 spot.

Stein’s Latest: Beal, Robinson, Gobert, Hornets, Atkinson

The comments made Monday by president of basketball operations Tommy Sheppard seemed to indicate the Wizards don’t have any reservations about giving Bradley Beal a full maximum-salary contract, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack column. Beal, who missed the final 33 games of the season because of an injured left wrist, is eligible for a new five-year deal worth a projected $247MM+.

Stein states that Sheppard had “ebullience” when talking about Beal and the chance to team him up with Kristaps Porzingis next season. Beal has to make a decision by next week on a $36.4MM player option for 2022/23, but it sounds like a long-term offer will be waiting no matter what he does with the option.

Sheppard said Beal can be a franchise centerpiece and notes that he has improved his defense and become more versatile since he arrived in the NBA. He points out that Beal can handle either backcourt spot, adding, “We have no problem playing Bradley Beal at point guard.”

There’s more from Stein:

  • While the Knicks would like to clear cap space before free agency kicks off, Stein has heard strong rumblings that they’re prepared to sign Mitchell Robinson to a new multiyear contract. The fourth-year center is coming off his best NBA season, averaging 8.5 points, 8.6 rebounds and 1.8 blocks in 72 games, and his minimum-salary cap hold means that retaining him won’t complicate any efforts to create cap room. Stein confirms a report that New York is looking for takers for Alec Burks and Nerlens Noel, along with Kemba Walker, to make a run at a free agent guard like Jalen Brunson or possibly Kyrie Irving.
  • Appearing Monday on Spotify Live, Stein suggested that the Bulls are the most likely destination if the Jazz decide to trade Rudy Gobert. He clarifies that statement in today’s column, saying Chicago has “ongoing reservations” about dealing for Gobert, while the Raptors are still a team to watch. Stein adds that Gobert isn’t considered a sure thing to be traded this summer.
  • In the wake of Kenny Atkinson‘s decision to remain with the Warriors, the Hornets are still in the market for someone with experience as a head coach, such as Mike D’Antoni, the other finalist, who is scheduled to meet with owner Michael Jordan today. Stein suggests that family reasons factored into Atkinson’s decision, as did the fact that Golden State was willing to pay him more than assistant coaches usually make.

Southeast Notes: Yurtseven, Heat Draft, Beal, Fields

Omer Yurtseven will play in the summer league, Anthony Chiang of the Miami Herald tweets. There was some question about the center’s availability because of his obligations with the Turkish national team but the Heat confirmed to the media on Monday that Yurtseven will play next month. Miami has until June 29 to guarantee Yurtseven’s $1,752,638 salary for next season and this would suggest the team plans to do so.

We have more from the Southeast Division:

  • The Heat hold the No. 27 pick in the draft and the South Florida Sun Sentinel’s Ira Winderman takes a look at some of the prospects Miami might consider at that spot, including Tennessee guard Kennedy Chandler, Arizona guard Dalen Terry and G League Ignite guard Jaden Hardy.
  • Wizards star Bradley Beal is flattered when draft prospects praise him and say they try to emulate him, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington writes. “It’s surreal. It’s really surreal because I was those kids looking up to pro players and looking up to guys that I watched play,” he said. “I never would have imagined that kids would say I’m their favorite player or that they would model their game after me.”
  • New Hawks general manager Landry Fields is prioritizing defense, according to The Associated Press’ Charles Odum.“The identity defensively has been, well that’s something we’re going to have to build into,” Landry said. “That’s been part of the reason why we haven’t taken that (next) step.” Fields acknowledges the front office is looking at trade options to make that happen, Chris Kirschner of The Athletic writes. “Trade is absolutely, in looking at the finances, something that is going to be important for us,” he said.

Southeast Notes: Beal, M. Williams, Ross, Atkinson, Hornets Workout

Bradley Beal didn’t provide any hints regarding free agency during a public appearance today, but he revealed that “a lot” of players have been encouraging him to join their teams, writes Noah Trister of The Associated Press. Beal is facing a decision on a $36.4MM player option for next season that will have a huge effect on the Wizards‘ future, but he didn’t give any indication on which way he’s leaning.

The star guard did provide an update on his injured left wrist, which required surgery in February that brought his season to an early end. He said the recovery process is going well and estimates that 80-90% of his range of motion has returned.

“The rest is going to be strengthening and stuff,” he said. “I’m cleared to do stuff on the court now, which is good.”

There’s more from the Southeast Division:

  • After working out for the Wizards today, Mark Williams said it’s the last one on his schedule before Thursday’s draft, tweets Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Washington. The Duke center also had sessions with the Hornets, Knicks, Spurs and Bulls.
  • The Magic are still trying to find a taker for Terrence Ross, per Michael Scotto of HoopsHype. Prior to February’s deadline, Orlando was asking for a first-round pick in exchange for the 31-year-old swingman, but Scotto says teams are hoping the price will fall to multiple second-rounders, just as it did when the Magic traded Evan Fournier. Ross has an expiring $11.5MM contract for next season.
  • Before changing his mind about becoming the Hornets‘ next head coach, Kenny Atkinson called all the team’s current assistants and had planned to meet with every staff member before the draft, tweets Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report.
  • The Hornets hosted six players in a pre-draft workout today, the team tweeted. On hand were Keve Aluma of Virginia Tech, Jamaree Bouyea of San Francisco, Yoan Makoundou of Cholet Basket in France, Wendell Moore of Duke, Scotty Pippen Jr. of Vanderbilt and Jaden Shackelford of Alabama. Charlotte owns the 13th, 15th and 45th picks in the draft.

Wizards Notes: Daniels, Washington, Draft-Day Trade, Beal

Dyson Daniels believes he’d be a good fit in the backcourt next to Bradley Beal if the Wizards draft him with the No. 10 pick, Chase Hughes of NBC Sports Chicago writes. The G League Ignite guard visited the Wizards on Saturday.

Obviously, Beal’s a great player and has been a great player for a long time. I think we would fit well together,” he said. “We can both play off each other a little bit. I can play off the ball with him, he can play off the ball with me. It takes a little time to adjust to playing with new people, but there’s definitely a fit there for sure.”

We have more on the Wizards:

  • TyTy Washington, another possibility with that first-round pick, says that former Washington point guard John Wall is an inspiration to him, Hughes writes in a separate story. “I definitely looked up to him. His little signature dance got me kind of hipped onto him. Seeing that, his high school mixtape, his college highlights and then seeing what he did in the NBA, it’s definitely amazing,” he said. “Nobody has ever seen anybody that big and that fast doing the stuff he was doing.”
  • Wrapping things up, Hughes examines whether Daniels or Washington would be a better fit.
  • A trio of writers from The Athletic — Josh Robbins, Kelly Iko and Jason Jones — discuss the possibility of the Wizards trading into the top four in the draft. They conclude it’s highly unlikely, even if Kyle Kuzma and the 10th pick are part of the package.
  • A sign-and-trade of Beal for Jazz All-Star guard Donovan Mitchell? Robbins says the odds of that happening are less than one percent, considering Beal hasn’t expressed a desire to be moved to Utah and that he’d benefit more financially by re-signing on a max deal with Washington.

FA/Trade Rumors: Ayton, Centers, Turner, Beal, Saric, Lakers

Echoing comments made last week by Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Marc Stein writes in his latest Substack article that Suns center Deandre Ayton – a restricted free agent this summer – may be the biggest name to change teams in the coming weeks.

Phoenix is “increasingly expected” to explore sign-and-trade scenarios involving Ayton, according to Stein, who says there’s plenty of skepticism around the NBA about the team’s desire to make a significant financial commitment to the young center.

Eric Pincus of Bleacher Report conveys a similar sentiment in his latest round-up of NBA rumors, suggesting there’s “considerable skepticism” that the Suns will re-sign Ayton. The Pistons, Spurs, Trail Blazers, Hawks, and Raptors have all been mentioned as possible suitors for the former No. 1 overall pick, Stein notes.

Here are a few more updates from Stein and Pincus on some of this year’s top free agents and trade candidates:

  • According to Pincus, some sources believe that the Spurs (Jakob Poeltl), Bulls (Nikola Vucevic), Hawks (Clint Capela/John Collins), and Pacers (Myles Turner) are among the teams that could be willing to move their current centers in a package for one of the offseason’s top available big men (Ayton, Rudy Gobert, etc.). Grizzlies center Steven Adams also may be a summer trade candidate, though he’s well-liked in the locker room, says Pincus.
  • While both Pincus and Stein have talked to sources who believe the Pacers are likely to keep Myles Turner, Stein notes that the situation could change if the big man wants to play out his expiring contract rather than agreeing to an extension, since Indiana may not want to risk losing him for nothing next year.
  • According to Stein, one or two teams hopeful of landing Bradley Beal believe the All-Star guard wants to be the Dirk Nowitzki of D.C., sticking with the Wizards for his entire career.
  • While Dario Saric‘s $9.24MM expiring contract makes him an obvious trade candidate, Pincus writes that the Suns are hopeful the forward can return to form after missing last season due to an ACL tear, and may not be looking to move him.
  • If the Lakers have any hope of trading Russell Westbrook without including a first-round pick, they’ll likely have to take on at least one or two players earning $15-25MM annually on multiyear deals, Pincus writes, citing veterans like Davis Bertans and Duncan Robinson as hypothetical examples. Rival executives and agents don’t expect the Lakers to get clarity from LeBron James on his long-term intentions before the draft or free agency, which will complicate L.A.’s decision-making process — the team would be more comfortable taking on pricey multiyear contracts with a guarantee that LeBron is sticking around long-term, Pincus observes.

Southeast Notes: Beal, Hawks, Strus, Atkinson

Wizards star shooting guard Bradley Beal recently sat down with Taylor Rooks of Bleacher Report (video link; hat tip to ClutchPoints) to discuss his impending free agency. Beal has a $36.4MM player option for the 2022/23 season.

“I know what my decision will be based off of, and that’s gonna be where I feel like I can win. That’s going to be my decision,” Beal said. “If I feel like I can win in D.C., that’s what I’m gonna do, and I want people to respect that. You may or you may not, but I’m gonna work my ass off and I’m gonna compete and I wanna make this team better. If it’s elsewhere, it’s going to be the exact same commitment.”

Should he opt out, Beal would be eligible for a projected five-year, $247MM maximum contract from the Wizards this summer. The most a rival team could offer him in free agency would be a four-year, $183.6MM deal. Washington drafted Beal out of Florida with the third pick in the 2012 draft. He has never played beyond the Eastern Conference Semifinals with the Wizards.

A left wrist tear restricted Beal’s availability for much of the 2021/22 NBA season. The three-time All-Star remained relatively productive when he was available, though his shooting numbers dipped in his age-28 season. Beal averaged 23.2 PPG, 6.6 APG, and 4.7 RPG across 40 contests, on .451/.300/.833 shooting. The Wizards finished with a 35-47 record this season.

There’s more out of the Southeast Division:

  • After the Hawks made an exciting run to the 2021 Eastern Conference Finals, they expected more of the same success the following season. Instead, the team finished with a disappointing 43-39 record and was eventually defeated 4-1 in the first round by the Heat. Atlanta seems primed to make changes in the 2022 offseason, prompting Chris Kirschner of The Athletic to list some of his favorite trade targets for Atlanta, including Suns center Deandre Ayton, Pacers guard Malcolm Brogdon, and Pistons forward Jerami Grant.
  • Following a breakout season with the Heat, 26-year-old wing Max Strus is aware that the team will have heightened expectations heading into the 2022/23 NBA season, per Ira Winderman of the South Florida Sun Sentinel. “I’ve just got to be more complete,” Strus said of developing his play. “There’s definitely areas for improvement. And that’s exciting about this game, that’s what wants you to keep flourishing, is the challenges that come with it.” In his second season with the Heat, the 6’5″ guard out of DePaul averaged 10.6 PPG, 3.0 RPG and 1.4 APG, with shooting splits of .441/.410/.792. During an extended playoff run, Strus supplanted Duncan Robinson as the club’s starting shooting guard thanks to his superior defense. The top-seeded team in the East, the Heat went on an extended playoff run before eventually falling 4-3 to the Celtics in the Eastern Conference Finals.
  • Reaction around the hiring of new Hornets head coach Kenny Atkinson has been resoundingly positive, per Rod Boone of the Charlotte Observer. Boone explores the expectations surrounding Atkinson and his ability to help Charlotte, led by All-Star point guard LaMelo Ball, move beyond the play-in tournament. Last season under the tutelage of head coach James Borrego, the Hornets finished with a 43-39 record and the No. 10 seed in the East. Atkinson is currently on Steve Kerr‘s bench with the Warriors, in a 2-2 Finals series against the Celtics.

Fischer’s Latest: Brunson, LaVine, Beal, Anunoby, Ayton, Collins

Mavericks guard Jalen Brunson, Bulls wing Zach LaVine, and Wizards guard Bradley Beal are all considered likely to remain with their respective teams in free agency this offseason, Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report said during an appearance on the Dunc’d On podcast this week.

Brunson has been linked to teams like the Knicks, Pistons, and Pacers over the last few months, but the Mavs have consistently stated both publicly and privately that they want to hang onto the point guard. According to Fischer, people around the league are writing in Brunson’s return to Dallas “in Sharpie” at this point. “Literally, everyone in the league is saying that,” Fischer said.

Fischer has been among the reporters to suggest that LaVine’s return to Chicago is no longer viewed as a sure thing, but he doesn’t believe the All-Star swingman will actually leave the Bulls.

“Even people around him have been saying all along, ‘Yeah, the door’s open, but we don’t think he’s going to leave,'” Fischer said.

Asked if there’s any smoke around the idea of Beal exiting Washington, Fischer said he hasn’t heard anything he’s “giving much weight to.” As Fischer observes, the Wizards guard could accept a lucrative contract offer to remain in D.C. this offseason, knowing that he could request a trade down the road if he eventually decides he wants out.

“The Zach LaVine thing, like I said, I don’t expect him to leave, but people there are at least saying, ‘Yeah, the door’s open for him to go,'” Fischer said. “No one’s even coming close to that type of verbiage when it comes to Brad.”

Here are a few more of the highlights from Fischer’s Dunc’d On appearance:

  • Following up on his reporting on OG Anunoby, Fischer reiterated that he believes the Raptors wing wants a greater role on offense. “I do definitely think there’s definitive truth that he wants more opportunity,” Fischer said. “That’s the one thing that’s been repeated across the board from everyone I’ve talked to — from people within his representation, to coaches who’ve worked with him in the past, to general people in the league who would know, let’s say. And that’s the one word that everyone consistently agrees on, that he wants more opportunity, and it doesn’t seem like a clear path to having that in Toronto.”
  • The Raptors aren’t going to “sell off” Anunoby, but appear open to the idea of including him in a trade for an impact player, according to Fischer, who once again identifies the Trail Blazers and Jazz as teams with interest. “Portland is definitely targeting OG. He’s definitely said to be someone that (Damian) Lillard wants to pair with,” Fischer said. “Utah has had conversations – I think they’ve even had conversations with Toronto, (though) I don’t want to say there’s been offers made. Right now most of these teams are in super-early conversations and the only team I hear about that’s ready to talk trade right now is (the Hawks).”
  • Fischer believes Suns center Deandre Ayton could be the biggest name to change teams in free agency this summer, perhaps in a sign-and-trade. “He wants the max, he doesn’t want to come down from that,” Fischer said of Ayton. “… Detroit gets mentioned a lot. Portland, it seems like he’s another guy that Dame has interest in playing with. Toronto gets mentioned. San Antonio’s been mentioned.”
  • Hawks big man John Collins is another player Fischer believes is drawing interest from the Trail Blazers. Fischer adds that the Spurs had serious interest in Collins a year or two ago, but admits he’s not sure whether that’s still the case. “There was someone I talked to today who had just spoken to Atlanta in recent days who said that John Collins is clearly the guy that they are most interested in moving,” Fischer said.

Blazers Rumors: Beal, LaVine, Bridges, Grant, Collins

The Trail Blazers are exploring the trade market in search of veterans who can help Damian Lillard get the team back into the playoffs, according to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, who observes that Portland has a handful of assets in hand to offer up in possible deals.

Besides the No. 7 overall pick in this year’s draft, the Blazers also have a trade exception worth nearly $21MM, Josh Hart and his team-friendly contract, Eric Bledsoe‘s expiring deal (Bledsoe’s partial guarantee could be increased as needed for salary-matching purposes), future draft picks, and possibly Jusuf Nurkic as a sign-and-trade candidate.

Here’s more from O’Connor on the players Portland could go after this summer:

  • Sources tell The Ringer that free-agents-to-be Bradley Beal and Zach LaVine are potential Blazers targets, though it’s unclear if they’ll be willing to leave the Wizards and Bulls, respectively, for Portland. Lillard and Beal are friends who played together for Team USA, O’Connor notes.
  • Hornets restricted free agent forward Miles Bridges is a player worth keeping an eye on for the Blazers, sources tell O’Connor. The team is in the market for a big wing who can help on defense and be a secondary offensive play-maker, and Bridges fits the bill. Again though, it remains to be seen if Portland will be able to pry away Bridges from his current team, especially since Charlotte will be able to match any offer sheet.
  • Pistons forward Jerami Grant is another two-way wing frequently mentioned as a target for Portland, as O’Connor observes. In his latest Substack article, Marc Stein writes that the Hawks continue to register interest in Grant, but the Blazers would likely be able to outbid Atlanta and other Grant suitors if they’re willing to include the No. 7 pick in their offer.
  • Hawks big man John Collins is also frequently cited as a player on the Blazers’ radar, according to O’Connor, who suggests Collins would be more of a lob threat – and more versatile defensively – than Nurkic.