Los Angeles Lakers general manager Rob Pelinka has limited trade assets to offer opposing teams, but this is not stopping the franchise from exploring ways to add another superstar. The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor reported that the Lakers are “trying to angle” for a big move with Wizards guard Bradley Beal as a player atop their wish list.
“The one name that I’ve heard recently is Bradley Beal as another guy that they want,” O’Connor detailed on the June 15, 2022 edition of “The Void” podcast. “I’m not sure if the interest is as mutual. You know Beal, it seems like Miami would be more of the threat to take him away from Washington. I don’t think you can also rule out Boston either because of his relationship with Jason Tatum, but the Lakers are trying to angle for some moves like that using the Russ expiring [contract] and the ’27 and the ’29 firsts [first-round draft picks].”
Beal can exercise his player-option this offseason to become a free agent, but the Lakers would need to pull off a sign-and-trade to have a chance to land the star guard. For the Wizards, Russell Westbrook and two future first-round picks is not comparable to Beal, but it may be better than losing the superstar for nothing if the veteran decides to leave Washington.
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The Lakers Would Need to Pull off a Sign-&-Trade for Beal
Beal may be on the Lakers’ wish list but Los Angeles faces an uphill battle to land a star of his caliber. Namely, there is about a $63 million difference between the five-year, $242 million max deal the Wizards can offer Beal compared to a competing team topping out with a four-year, $179 million offer, per The Athletic’s John Hollinger.
The Lakers would not only need Beal to force his way to the Lakers via a sign-and-trade, but the three-time All-Star has to also be willing to take less money to team up with LeBron James and Anthony Davis. During a June 10 interview with Bleacher Report’s Taylor Rooks, Beal left the door cracked to taking less money elsewhere.
“Those are great problems, when I look at it like that, it’s like you can’t necessarily make a wrong decision,” Beal said. “It’s a matter of what you want to do with you [and] your career. And obviously, I consider my family right and what do they want to do. Where they want to live, what are they comfortable with and obviously the team, for me.
“So, it is surreal in a lot of ways, to be in the position I’m in. It is crazy numbers, it is what it is. Like it’s uncontrollable, it’s out of my control. i’m blessed to be here. So, again, I don’t shy away from that, I take it on with a full front, and I have to do what’s best for me. So, there’s some little anxiety, because I have to make the decision and time is counting down. We’re in June now, but it’s fun. It is fun to be in a position I’m in.”
LeBron Has Wanted to Play With Beal ‘For Years’: Report
Fox Sports’ Colin Cowherd reported on March 8, 2021 that James has been “eyeing him [Beal] for years.” The pressure is on the Lakers to make some splashy moves this summer with James eligible to sign a contract extension. If no new deal is inked, James will become a free agent in 2023, leaving the Lakers vulnerable with the possibility of losing the NBA legend for nothing.
“I know LeBron loves him,” the analyst explained on “The Herd With Colin Cowherd.” “I’ve been told that by LeBron’s camp. They’ve been eyeing him for years. I’m not sure why people don’t make a run, he is expensive, but I just feel he’s got a very consistent personality.”