For months the Celtics front office, the media, the fans and everyone in between has been waiting on bated breath for Bradley Beal to request a trade from the Wizards. Washington has been underperforming and wasting the prime of such a talented player. With Beal’s close connection with Jayson Tatum, many thought the two would unite in Boston.
That dream became even more enticing on Thursday when the Wizards traded Russell Westbrook to the Lakers for Kyle Kuzma, Kentavious Caldwell-Pope, Montrezl Harrell and a draft pick. Many people saw that as a sign that Washington was going to sell everything and start a full rebuild, or at least be the final straw that pushed Beal to demand a trade.
Instead, the exact opposite happened. Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that Beal does not want to leave Washington and the Westbrook trade could actually entice him to stay next offseason when he is a free agent.
"Sources tell me Beal right now has no desire to leave the Wizards."— Stadium (@Stadium) July 29, 2021
NBA Insider @ShamsCharania reports on Bradley Beal as the Lakers-Wizards work to complete Russell Westbrook trade, presented by @ATT 5G. pic.twitter.com/FBkzRqwcLj
“Washington now has the ability to continue to build the right way around Beal in terms of having rotation players, financial flexibility to make moves down the road, as well as draft capital for the next several years,” Charania said. “Beal will be able to sign the five-year, $235 million max contract in Washington next summer and that could be on the horizon.”
It makes sense financially for Beal to stay in Washington because the Wizards can offer him the super max, which no other team can do. However, the Wiz won’t be competing for a championship any time soon. They barely made it through the play-in tournament this year, only to be squashed by the 76ers and that was with the walking triple-double that is Russell Westbrook. Without him, Beal and Washington aren’t sniffing the Finals anytime soon.
If Beal wants to compete for a championship, Boston can provide him that. The Celtics might not be the most win-now team that would offer him, but he could play with his closest friend and have a chance at a ring.
Although this news may not be what Celtics fans were hoping for, it actually might be a good thing. If Beal wants out, he can wait until free agency next year and sign with Boston. That way, the C’s don’t need to trade someone, which would most likely be Jaylen Brown, to acquire him. They could just sign him without giving up something in return. The super-max is hard to compete with, but if Tatum and Beal are as close as they say, it could be done.
The new report isn’t fun to hear, but be patient. It could work out to be a positive in a year.