Lakers Named Among Favorites to Land 3-Time All-Star & Elite Scorer

Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

Getty Rob Pelinka and Darvin Ham

The Los Angeles Lakers have been given the seventh-best odds by SportsBetting.Ag to land a three-time All-Star and elite scorer this summer.

Oddsmakers gave the Lakers 8-1 odds to acquire Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal.

Beal has a player option worth $36.4 million for the 2022-23 season. According to Josh Robbins of The Athletic, the Florida product is expected to decline his player option and enter unrestricted free agency.

The Wizards hold Beal’s Bird rights, so they are the only team that can offer him a five-year contract. That deal could be worth up to a maximum total of nearly $248 million.

Under CBA rules, the longest and most expensive contract Beal could sign with another team would be a four-year deal worth a maximum total of roughly $184 million. The Wizards would not be allowed to complete a sign-and-trade deal involving Beal without the guard’s consent.

Lakers Want Beal

According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the Lakers want to acquire Beal, who averaged 23.2 points, 4.7 rebounds and 6.6 assists in 2021-22. The St. Louis native would be a good fit alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis since he can space the floor with his perimeter shooting.

Beal, 28, is a career 37.2% shooter from beyond the arc.

“The one name that I’ve heard recently is Bradley Beal is a guy they want,” O’Connor said. “I’m not sure the interest is as mutual. Beal, it seems Miami would be more of the threat to take him away from Washington. I don’t think you can rule out Boston either because of his relationship with Jayson Tatum. But the Lakers are trying to angle for some moves like that, use the Russ expiring and the 2027 and 2029 firsts.”

The Lakers acquired Russell Westbrook from the Wizards last summer. According to O’Connor, the purple and gold would like to send Westbrook and two future draft picks to Washington for Beal, who has career averages of 22.1 points, 4.1 rebounds and 4.2 assists in 645 regular-season games with the Wizards.

The Wizards would likely decline the Lakers’ offer for Beal, who told Robbins on June 18 that he has made up his mind about his playing future. However, the star guard declined to disclose his decision, stating it would be inappropriate to discuss any potential future contract while he’s still fulfilling his current deal with Washington.

Beal signed a two-year, $70.1 million veteran extension with the Wizards in October 2019.

Lakers’ Big 3 Will Likely Run It Back

James, Davis and Westbrook will likely run it back with the Lakers in 2022-23. The salaries of LeBron ($44.5 million), AD ($38.0 million) and Russ ($47.1 million) make it difficult for the Lakers’ front office to revamp the roster.

Trading Westbrook is the best way for Los Angeles to get shooters and defenders around James and Davis. However, according to a May 29 report from Marc Stein of Substack, teams are asking the Lakers to give up additional assets to trade Westbrook and the purple and gold have no interest in doing that.

“The Lakers are tuning out the skeptics yet again and insisting to anyone who will listen that they would rather keep Russell Westbrook on the roster for next season than surrender additional assets to convince someone to trade for him,” Stein reported in May. “The Lakers are also said to be adamant that they won’t release the former MVP and eat his $47.1 million player option for next season after Westbrook picks it up.”

James, Davis, Talen Horton-Tucker and Austin Reaves (non-guaranteed) are the sole players under contract with the Lakers next season. Westbrook has a player option worth $47.1 million and he’s expected to pick it up.

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