Warriors in Prime Position to Add Three-Time All-Star to Roster

Bob Myers Steve Kerr

Getty Golden State Warriors general manager Bob Myers, left, and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr stand on stage during a news conference at the Warriors headquarters.

The Golden State Warriors have expressed open excitement, optimism and borderline hubris at the idea they will have each member of the team’s original big three back and healthy this upcoming season.

But how might they, and the Golden State faithful, feel about the possibility of turning an aging big three into a more youthful big four? The Warriors could get the chance to find out, with All-Star guard Bradley Beal potentially on the market even before the season begins.

The Washington Wizards standout scorer spoke to reporters Wednesday night, June 2, following the team’s NBA Playoff exit — a 129-112 loss to the Philadelphia 76ers. And while he mentioned no potential future franchise he’d like to play for specifically, Beal also stayed far away from committing to a return to Washington next year.

“I haven’t even … we’re not gonna think about that, or even talk about it right now,” Beal said, according to a report from ESPN’s Tim Bontemps. “I haven’t thought about none of that, as of yet.”

“Ultimately, I’m in control,” Beal continued. “I think that’s my biggest thing.”


Beal Entering Final Year of Contract With Wizards

Bradley Beal

GettyBradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards and Ben Simmons #25 of the Philadelphia 76ers look on during the fourth quarter during Game Four of the Eastern Conference first round series on May 31, 2021.

In the age of player empowerment in the NBA, superstar players have proven that they can dictate trades out of unfavorable situations if they wish, even if they have recently signed a multi-year contract for massive money (see: James Harden, Anthony Davis, and the band plays on).

Those players, at times, need to disrupt the activities of their current teams in order to force a franchise’s hand. That isn’t Beal’s style and his words on Wednesday did not indicate he has any plans to traverse that path. Beal spoke glowingly of the team’s youth, as well as his head coach Scott Brooks and superstar teammate Russell Westbrook.

But Beal’s situation has an extra layer of interesting to it, namely the fact that he is entering the final year of his contract. If Washington doesn’t markedly improve from a play-in team by the middle of the season, the Wizards have to think long and hard about trading Beal of their own accord.

The cardinal sin in an NBA front office has always been giving up a valuable asset for nothing in return, which is precisely what will occur if the now-27-year-old Beal decides to depart in free agency next year.

And if Beal is potentially on his way out regardless, the question becomes which NBA teams have fostered situations that both entice Beal the player and can satiate what the Wizards are likely to demand in a trade? Perhaps the best answer to both questions is the Golden State Warriors.


Warriors Can Offer Arguably Best Package For Beal

Warriors

GettyThe Golden State Warriors big three of Draymond Green [left], Klay Thompson [center], Steph Curry [right] did not take the court together for two full seasons due to multiple injuries.

The Warriors have a war chest of assets to make a move in 2021-22 to improve what will already be a team likely among the top-10 favorites to win an NBA Championship.

The first, and most obvious piece, is James Wiseman. The rookie big man remains raw and exited his first season early with a knee injury, but his talent is immense. The No. 2 pick from last year’s NBA Draft, Wiseman is an intriguing prospect for any team. That goes doubly for a franchise like the Wizards, which would once again be building for the future if Beal takes his leave, as an aging and often-injured Russell Westbrook would then be grabbing the wheel in Washington with both hands.

Golden State will also find out in a matter of weeks if they will receive what is guaranteed to be a top-10 pick from the Minnesota Timberwolves. The selection is top-three protected, but if the T-Wolves are forced to send it to the Warriors, that means it fell somewhere between the 4th and 10th picks in what many believe is a draft that will produce six or seven high-end NBA players.

Either piece alone might be enough to get Beal. Both of them together, especially if the pick falls the Warriors’ way, would be trade package seemingly very difficult to match anywhere else in the league.

There is no guarantee Beal leaves Washington before or during next season, but the chances are good. And if he does, the chances that Golden State picks him up may be even better.


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