The Boston Celtics have won two NBA championships, but since they lost, there will be a lot of discussion during the offseason about how they can overcome the hump.
Should Bradley Beal be mentioned in this discussion?
The Washington Wizards star has been rumored to be a target for the Celtics for several years, in part because his very close relationship with a childhood friend Jason Tatum. Beal could become a free agent this offseason if he waives his $36.4 million player option, and as former Phoenix Suns general manager and former Celtics chief executive Ryan McDonough explained on Monday., the best financial move for Beal is to drop this player option and sign a new contract with the Wizards.
“Bradley Beal will make another $64 million if he walks out of his contract and then re-signs in Washington,” McDonough told NBC Sports Boston. Early editionas seen in the video above. “He can extend his contract with the Wizards for five years. This is the only team in the league that he can sign with for that length of time.”
Bill recently said he has already decided about his gaming future, but declined to reveal his decision. Since it is technically impossible for players to negotiate with other teams until after free rein on June 30, this likely means that Beal has decided to renew relations with Washington.
Even if Beal pulls out and becomes a free agent, the best way for Boston to acquire Beal would be to sign and trade, as receiving his $36.4 million salary for 2022-23 will force the C’s to part ways with several key players.
“If Beal wanted to break into Boston and the Wizards were willing to cooperate, then the direct route is to sign and trade,” McDonough said. “Besides that, Boston will have to gut their entire roster except for Tatum and possibly (Jaylen) Brown.”
What could a signing and trade deal look like for Beal?
“Al Horford’s contract will probably be there – $26.5 million on the expiring deal,” McDonough added. “And what does Washington want then? Robert Williams, Grant Williams, draft pick? These are Boston’s most valuable assets outside of Tatum and Brown.”
The possibility of a Tatum-Brown-Beal trio is very tempting. Two seasons ago, Beal led the Eastern Conference in scoring (31.3 points per game) and will give the Celtics three high-level scorers.
But the Wizards could claim either Brown or Marcus Smart as a gift to a franchise player who turns 29 this month and had undergone season-ending wrist surgery in February. That may be too high a price to pay for Celtics basketball president Brad Stevens, who has a talented young backbone who just led the team to the NBA Finals top spot since 2010.
Beal might make sense for triples at some point, but McDonough doesn’t think the three-time All-Star is coming to Boston anytime soon.
“I think the Celtics could have bought Beal, but I think it will be through a trade either at the deadline or next offseason,” McDonough said. “I think it’s unlikely that Beal will be in a Celtics uniform early this season.”