Most of the trade chatter surrounding the Boston Celtics these days seems to revolve around Damian Lillard. Yet, there’s another perennial All-Star guard that could potentially be up for grabs — one with far more dots to reasonably connect to a possible move to Beantown.
Bradley Beal, the NBA’s second-leading scorer at 31.3 points per game, has just one guaranteed year remaining on his contract before a player option kicks in. Despite a late-season surge by the Wizards to crack the postseason, it’s plausible to question whether Beal would be willing to commit to an extension with a team that is more than likely to continue to hover around mediocrity.
If the three-time All-Star goes to Wizards brass and informs them he will not sign his extension, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix believes it will officially be “game on for Bradley Beal.” If this proves to be the case, he also believes the Celtics should be considered serious players to swing a deal for the All-NBA Third-Team selection.
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Conversation of Beal Joining Cs is ‘Going to Take Place,’ Says Mannix
Mannix recently joined The Colin Cowherd Podcast to discuss the latest trade rumors swirling around the NBA, including those surrounding Beal. The NBA insider proclaims there is a “very very strong market” for Beal, but teams must proceed cautiously due to his contract situation.
“Very very strong market for Bradley Beal. But he’s also in a situation where if you trade for him you’ve got to know he wants to be there,” Mannix noted. “Because you’re only getting the last year of that contract and you don’t want to give up the major asset that you’re going to have to give up to get him.”
The good news for Boston is that Beal’s well-documented relationship with Jayson Tatum more than likely eases those concerns for the Celtics.
“That’s why — I think Boston is a player for Bradley Beal,” Mannix proclaimed. “The Bradley Beal, Jayson Tatum relationship, people know, it’s rock solid. These two grew up in the St. Louis area. They have been best friends [for] a long time. [They] played their first All-Star game together this past year. They couldn’t have been more excited. And believe you me, when they’re both over in Tokyo, that conversation’s going to take place about playing together, finding a way.”
Beal was recently announced as a member of Team USA’s 12-man squad for the Tokyo Games, which Tatum is also a member of. As Mannix touched on, the Olympics tend to be a hot spot for the world’s best to gather and muster up master plans of one day joining forces on the NBA hardwood.
“We’ve seen stuff like that happen before with the super friends of Miami in the ’08 Olympics and Kyrie and Kevin Durant in the hallway. This stuff happens when these guys are away,” he said.
A Jaylen Brown-Bradley Beal Swap?
Of course, Beal’s relationship with Tatum is only part of the big picture. Making a move to acquire one of the league’s most lethal scorers, a back-to-back 30.0-plus point scorer at that, won’t come cheap. The most logical trade chip in a Beal deal would be fellow All-Star Jaylen Brown. While Brad Stevens and company don’t appear to be proactively shopping the 24-year-old, he may be Boston’s best chance of landing Beal in a trade.
“Look Boston’s not looking to trade Jaylen Brown… but if your Boston and it’s a straight swap Jaylen Brown for Bradley Beal, Beal will be just 28 next season, so he fits within that window that Tatum is currently in,” Mannix stated. “They do complement each other, Beal a scorer from the perimeter, Tatum a three/four. You’re not taking a step back by any stress. And you’d know, more likely than not, that Beal would want to be there, because he wants to play with Tatum who signed for the long term. That to me is one of the more likely places.”