The NBA trade deadline came and went this past Thursday and aside from acquiring Evan Fournier — a serviceable wing on an expiring contract — the Boston Celtics failed to make a true splash move.
However, that could all change this offseason, as The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor has reported that the Cs are among four teams interested in acquiring Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal.
The latest Celtics news straight to your inbox! Join the Heavy on Celtics newsletter here!
Bradley Beal Eyeing a ‘Life-Altering’ Move?
Beal, 27, is in the midst of his third All-Star campaign, while his 31.3 points per game pace the entire NBA. Yet, despite his offensive brilliance, the former No. 3 overall pick hasn’t been enough to make up for the rest of Washington’s on-court ineptitude. With a record of 3-7 over their last 10 games, the Wizards are currently 12 games below .500 and likely primed to extend their playoff drought to three years and counting.
While Beal’s bullish commitment to staying put in D.C. could potentially continue through the upcoming offseason, O’Connor notes that a “life-altering decision” could be in the playing cards.
“League sources say his decision to play through this season without making a trade request is as much a commitment to see things through this season with Russell Westbrook as it is about waiting until the worst of the coronavirus pandemic passes in the United States before making a life-altering decision,” he notes.
“There’s still a real chance Beal stays in Washington for years to come, but as the Wizards rack up losses, teams like the Heat are waiting to pounce,” O’Connor states. “In addition to Miami, multiple league sources say the Celtics, Knicks, and Pelicans are among the teams with interest in pursuing a deal for Beal.”
O’Connor also floated the Toronto Raptors as a darkhorse team to enter the Beal sweepstakes, noting that one league source claimed that “Toronto president Masai Ujiri was reluctant to deal Lowry because he believes the team can contend again as soon as next season.”
Hello Bradley Beal, Goodbye Jaylen Brown?
It would be a devastating loss for Boston to have to say goodbye to a player as beloved and crucial as Brown is. Yet it’s hard to envision a package without his inclusion that Washington would consider worthy of cutting ties with Beal for. Then again, look at what Houston received in exchange for James Harden just a few months ago. In reality, Beal’s level of eagerness to be dealt (if any) will dictate how quickly a deal will get done and how expensive the asking price will be.
The Celtics do have a few things going for them. For starters, their reluctance to pull the trigger on any blockbuster deals at the deadline kept their young core and profusion of draft capital mostly intact. More importantly, they have Jayson Tatum — one of Beal’s closest friends — under contract through 2025. The duo got to play alongside one another at this year’s All-Star game and by the sound of it, they’d be more than willing to continue their on-court companionship on a long-term, more frequent basis.
Beal’s contract with Washington doesn’t expire until 2023. With that said, his deal does have a player option in the final year of his extension which could allow him to hit the open market following the 2021-22 season.
- Ex-Celtic, Former All-Star Waived Just Two Days After Being Traded
- Brad Stevens Sounds Off on Rob Williams’ Stellar First Start of Season
- Jayson Tatum Crushed by Celtics Trading ‘Super, Super Close’ Friend
- Buyout Market: Celtics Dubbed an ‘Obvious’ Landing Spot for Stretch Big