Sixers’ Trade Effort for Wizards All-Star Is Helped by Unique Connection

Bradley-Beal-Sixers

Getty Philadelphia 76ers point guard Ben Simmons defends Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal during a playoff game in June.

Though he hasn’t officially requested a trade yet, Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal is very much rumored to be a hot commodity in the coming days and weeks and is at least considering his options.

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Fred Katz, who serves as the Wizards beat writer for The Athletic, wrote Monday that the Philadelphia 76ers trade target has “spent recent weeks mulling his future”.

Furthermore, the three-time All-Star – who can become a free agent following the upcoming season – “at times has been very much on the fence about whether or not he wants to remain with the Wizards,” according to The Athletic‘s Shams Charania. If Beal does eventually request or demand a trade, the Sixers may have the upper hand due to a unique connection.


Beal ‘Frustrated’ That Sixers Assistant Didn’t Get Chance for Wizards Gig

Sam-Cassell-Wizards-Coach

GettySam Cassell, then an assistant coach with the Washington Wizards, during a game in 2009.

After playing one season at the University of Florida, helping the Gators reach the Elite Eight of the 2012 NCAA men’s basketball tournament, Beal was drafted third overall by the Wizards. He earned First Team All-Rookie status in 2013 under head coach Randy Wittman and his 17.1 points per game in his second year were second on the team, only behind John Wall.

Beal’s first two seasons in the Association also overlapped with current Sixers assistant coach Sam Cassell’s final two years as an assistant to Wittman. According to Katz, Beal and Cassell may still have a close connection.

In June, Cassell interviewed for the previously-vacant Wizards head-coaching gig, but ultimately didn’t land the job.

“But that control didn’t reach the Wizards’ recent head coaching search the way Beal wanted, according to sources, one of the reasons he was frustrated when his top choice for the job – 76ers assistant Sam Cassell, an assistant with Washington during Beal’s first couple of NBA seasons – couldn’t land a second interview,” Katz wrote.


Beal’s Potential Addition Gives Sixers Another Elite Scoring Option

Bradley-Beal-Matisse-Thybulle

GettyMatisse Thybulle of the Philadelphia 76ers defends Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards during a playoff game in June.

If Beal were to join Philly, he would immediately give the club another elite scoring option to pair with Joel Embiid. Beal’s scoring numbers have steadily risen over his career, going from 13.9 points per contest in his rookie season to 17.4 by year four, and then 23.1 points per game in his fifth season all the way up to 30.5 in 2019-2020.

The guard’s career-high 31.3 points per game this past season were second in the league, only behind Stephen Curry‘s 32.0 points per contest. Embiid was fourth in the NBA at 28.5 points per game last season.

The former Florida Gator has recorded at least 42 points in a game in each of his last five seasons, including last year when he poured in a career-best 60 points against the Sixers on January 6. Beal has finished in the top-10 in total points in each of the last four campaigns as well.

While Beal can score in a variety of ways, his specialty is the three ball. From 2016-2019, he was in the top-15 in three-point field goals in the league, and he is 19th among active players in career makes from distance at 1,371.

The 2021 NBA draft is on Thursday night, so Beal were to get traded to the Sixers, it could very well happen this week.

READ NEXT: Sixers’ Top Free Agent Target Could Cost ‘$25 Million-$30 Million a Year’


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