Much to the chagrin of potential suitors, Wizards star Bradley Beal remains unavailable in trade discussions, with one rival executive who has been repeatedly rebuffed suggesting to Tom Haberstroh of TrueHoop that he has essentially given up the chase for the time being.
“In terms of franchise loyalty, I think Beal is in the same category as Steph (Curry) and Dame (Lillard) right now,” that exec said, referring to two other All-Star guards who have spent their entire careers with a single franchise.
In fact, Beal and Lillard have bonded over their unwillingness to leave the teams that drafted them in search of a club that could provide them an easier path to a championship, according to Jason Quick and Fred Katz of The Athletic. Beal spoke to Lillard in 2019 about the Trail Blazers star’s commitment to Portland before signing his own extension with the Wizards.
“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 of Beal. “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.”
Haberstroh’s latest story at TrueHoop features several more items of interest and is worth checking out in full if you’re a subscriber. Here are some highlights from around the Eastern Conference:
- Top Sixers executive Daryl Morey is widely expected to be active at the trade deadline, with several rival execs believing that Rockets forward P.J. Tucker will ultimately land in Philadelphia, says Haberstroh.
- On the other hand, Celtics president of basketball operations Danny Ainge is considered less likely to make a big splash at the deadline. “That’s not Danny’s style,” one Eastern Conference general manager said.
- Haberstroh suggests John Wall and Kyle Lowry could be among the Heat‘s targets if the club decides to pursue a major deadline move.
- Haberstroh’s sources view Masai Ujiri‘s ongoing lack of contract extension with the Raptors as a “notable non-event” and wonder if his actions at the trade deadline will provide a hint of his future plans. Ujiri’s contract with Toronto expires this offseason.