NBA Trade Rumors: Heat Nixing Bradley Beal About Tax, Not Damian Lillard

Bradley Beal (right) was traded by the Wizards to the Suns this week.

Getty Bradley Beal (right) was traded by the Wizards to the Suns this week.

Trades of prominent NBA players generally impact more than just the teams involved directly, but this year the ripple effect seems to be even more pronounced.

While the Bradley Beal-to-Phoenix transaction is on temporary hold as Washington looks to re-route Chris Paul (the Clippers still appear the most likely destination, but other teams want in on that discussion), other situations factor into the picture.

“It was out there that Miami decided not to bite on Beal because they were playing for (Portland’s Damian) Lillard,” a league source told Heavy Sports. “It really wasn’t that; it was tax consequences with Beal that really caused them to back off. The new tax is much more onerous.

“And I think part of it was that Beal said he wouldn’t give up the no-trade clause in his contract (after the initial deal was complete).”

Lillard may still be a possibility in trade, but this exec believes he is staying put.

“I think (the Trail Blazers) keep him,” he said. “I think they’re going to make a deal to bring in somebody. Hey, if they get some killer offer, all this could change, but right now from what we’re hearing, the thought in Portland is to keep him.”

The source said the Blazers could be looking at players like Zion Williamson, Kristaps Porzingis and Deandre Ayton.

Pelicans’ Zion Ready to Bolt New Orleans

And the ripples grow larger in magnitude.

Williamson would seem to be the golden gamble, in that, if he can play regularly, he makes New Orleans a legitimate threat. So why would the Pelicans move him?

“They don’t believe that he’s going to do well in their circumstance, so they’re willing to give him up,” the executive told Heavy. “He doesn’t want to be there. So if I’m them, there’s an old saying: scared money don’t make money.”

Another front office source confirmed that Williamson is up for discussion and supported the previous source’s notion that the Pelicans are poised to act.

“I think they realize they can’t go on with things the way they are,” he said. “And if they’re going to be bold, now is probably the time. It’s not like they can reasonably expect things to get better if they wait.

“I suppose there’s a chance things MIGHT get better, but for how long? I think the kind of latitude they’ve given Zion hasn’t helped the situation. Even if they can keep him on the court, the other stuff is probably going to get in the way. I think you’ll see them do some things now to get a re-set.”

Draymond to Stay Put?

Teams are also keeping a close eye on Draymond Green, who, as expected, opted out of the final year of his contract to sign a longer deal. GMs that Heavy has spoken to still feel it’s most likely the 33-year-old stays with Golden State.

“But he’s going to have a lot of people in his ear recruiting him,” said one. “There’s a lot of teams that think Draymond would put them over the top. The problem is those teams don’t have the room to just sign him as a free agent. That means there’d have to be a sign-and-trade, and unless Golden State would be getting something amazing in return, do they really want to let him go somewhere else?

“I think the Warriors are prepared to ride this out and spend the money with this core. They’d hoped some of the high picks would have stepped up more by now, but this is where they are.”


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