The Chicago Bulls are said to be in the market for a starting point guard, but what if one of the league’s elite shooting guards requests a trade, and its one who has history with head coach Billy Donovan?
Bradley Beal Might Want Out of Washington
According to Jake Fischer of Bleacher Report, Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal may be on the verge of asking for a trade.
“He [Beal] knows he has to make a decision before the draft,” one source with direct knowledge of Beal’s thinking told Bleacher Report. For the past year, people familiar with Beal’s dedicated relationship to the Wizards have consistently rebuffed the notion he had interest in playing elsewhere. Yet a second source close to Beal, when contacted by B/R, confirmed the situation is now fluid. Beal has long maintained to confidants his desire to stay in Washington, so long as he believed the Wizards were positioned to advance deep into the postseason. And if Beal were to seek a new team, he would do so only to land in an established winning environment, sources said.
Beal isn’t a natural point guard, and while Zach LaVine has played the position, conventional wisdom suggests he is better on the wing.
However, with the success the Milwaukee Bucks had en route to an NBA championship–sometimes playing lineups without a natural point guard–you have to wonder if that’s an option Chicago would consider.
While Fischer doesn’t mention the Bulls as a potential landing spot for the Bulls, there are two main reasons Beal might strongly consider pushing his way to the Windy City.
Billy Donovan Was Beal’s College Coach
Whenever there is a potential yearning from a player to play elsewhere, there has to be a draw. In the Bulls’ current state, they aren’t a winning team, though the future could be bright.
The draw would have to be related to a player or coach connection. Chicago has that element to offer Beal. Head coach Billy Donovan was Beal’s coach at Florida, and the two seemingly remain close.
When Donovan was hired by the Bulls in 2020, Beal had an energetic and excited response on Twitter:
That could simply be an example of a guy being happy for his college head coach, but when you consider Beal is a St. Louis native and how close his hometown is to Chicago, there is at least some reason to raise an eyebrow if you’re a Bulls fan.
Beal and LaVine Seem to Be Bonding in Tokyo
Team USA’s Olympic and FIBA World Championship teammates have been known to establish a bond while competing overseas. LaVine and Beal could be the latest example while they play for Team USA in the Tokyo Olympics.
Beal has been nothing but complimentary to LaVine while speaking with the media. Beal said this during a recent meeting with the media.
“Pure talent,” Beal said of LaVine. “He is an underrated guard in our league, all of our peers know that. I love going against him too, because we know each other’s moves. We know each other’s counters and so on.“
Again, this might only be an example of a guy appreciating a temporary teammate. Still, the admiration seems real, and if the Bulls had the desire to pair Beal with LaVine, it would be interesting to see how the former feels about the prospects.
Unfortunately, acquiring Beal would almost certainly cost the Bulls Patrick Williams, Coby White, Al-Farouq Aminu, and Lauri Markkanen (without compensation). More than likely it would also mean Chicago had to renounce the rights to Tomas Satoransky and Thaddeus Young to afford Beal’s $34.5 million deal for the 2021-22 season.
Chicago might be able to re-sign one or both for less money later, but this is the reality if Chicago wants to chase a fish as big as Beal.
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