It is crazy to believe at just 28 years old that Bradley Beal has already been in the league for ten seasons. As he enters his eleventh season in the NBA, Bradley Beal is facing a crossroads. There have been rumors to suggest that Beal may decline his player option and leave the only franchise he has ever known, the Washington Wizards.
If he does decide to leave Washington, he could do it in one of two ways. He can either decline his player option and find a new deal on the open market or he can accept his player option in the form of a sign and trade. The latter would allow the Wizards to receive something in return while transferring the Bird Rights of Bradley Beal to the new team. At the end of the day, Bradley Beal just wants to play, “somewhere he can win” and it remains to be seen whether that place is Washington.
Bradley Beal Stays Home
An obvious fit for Beal is the team he is currently on, the Wizards. With over a decade on the squad, his familiarity and loyalty with the squad up to this point cannot be ignored. The biggest question he must have answered is whether or not the Wizards are going to continue to build the roster around him. Last season, they brought in players like Kyle Kuzma, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Montrezl Harrell.
The Wizards would ultimately trade Montrezl Harrell to the Hornets and Spencer Dinwiddie to the Mavericks for Kristaps Porzingis on their way to a 35-47 record, missing the playoffs. Porzingis has been known for his injury history, so it would be a benefit for the Wizards to bring in another player that can shine with Beal in case KP has to miss time. The obvious choice would be for them to add another guard who can help Beal in the backcourt, but the star-caliber options are thin in this year’s free-agent class. The Wizards may need to rely on pure loyalty for them to retain Beal this season.
Other Destinations For Beal
If there is something any NBA team could use more of, it is players like Bradley Beal. A pure scoring guard like Beal can also fit in most systems, which makes him a fit for any team that doesn’t have a Devin Booker or Donovan Mitchell type of player occupying that position. When looking at the NBA landscape, I believe there are three teams where Beal could fit best.
So this fit would be under the assumption that Damian Lillard stays put in Oregon. After trading CJ McCollum, Portland suffered in a big way. Adding Beal to the duo of Lillard and Nurkic would allow the squad to return to their days of having one of the most dangerous backcourts in the game. A duo of Beal and Lillard would immediately catapult the Trailblazers into contender territory, giving Lillard a reliable option in the offense aside from himself. Assuming Lillard stays put, this option would make a ton of sense.
There are a few decisions the Heat will need to make this offseason with their roster. Outside of players named Bam Adebayo and Jimmy Butler, the Heat roster could be due for an overhaul after coming up short in the Eastern Conference Finals. With Victor Oladipo potentially finding a new team in 2022, an obvious need at SG would present itself. There have been talks to suggest Tyler Herro could be traded, furthering this need for another star player in the position.
If the Heat is able to field a starting lineup consisting of Kyle Lowry, Bradley Beal, Jimmy Buckets, and Bam, they will find themselves right back in the Eastern Conference Finals.
Finally, we have the Brooklyn Nets. After the failed experiment of Kyrie, Harden, and KD, the Nets failed to outlast the first round of the playoffs. With Kyrie’s player option looming over the franchise, another star player will be needed to keep them in the hunt. Obviously, Kevin Durant gives them a chance, but with the ever-changing landscape of the NBA, you have to do everything you can to stay relevant. Whether or not Ben Simmons plays remains to be seen, so bringing in a player like Bradley Beal adds another scoring dimension to their lineup. If Brooklyn manages to keep all three stars together while adding Beal, then it could spell trouble for the rest of the Eastern Conference.
As Bradley Beal weighs his options, I expect a number of possibilities to open up for him. As mentioned earlier, the NBA is a never-ending arms race, any number of trades could open up new fits and possibilities. With potential openings on other contenders like the Mavericks, Grizzlies, Lakers, Bulls, and Nuggets, there’s no telling where Beal will end up. He is definitely one of the hottest stars on the market and I expect a number of suitors to come calling.
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