How Did Celtics Acquire Bradley Beal? Ex-NBA GM sets path originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
The Boston Celtics came within two wins of an NBA championship, but because they fell just short, there will be plenty of off-season debate about how to get over the hump.
Should Bradley Beal be a name mentioned in this discussion?
The Washington Wizards star has been a rumored target for the Celtics for several years, partly due to his very close relationship with childhood friend Jayson Tatum. Beal can become a free agent this offseason if he declines his $36.4 million player option, former Phoenix Suns general manager and ex-Celtics manager Ryan McDonough said Monday, The best financial move for Beal is to turn down that player option and sign a new contract with the Wizards.
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“Bradley Beal will make $64 million more if he leaves his contract and then re-signs in Washington,” McDonough told NBC Sports Boston Early edition, as seen in the video above. “He has a five-year extension with the Wizards. It’s the only team in the league he can sign for that length.”
Beal recently said he had already made up his mind about his future as a player but declined to reveal his decision. With players technically unable to negotiate with other teams until the free hand begins on June 30, it likely means Beal has decided to work with Washington again.
Even if Beal exits and becomes a free agent, Boston’s best way to acquire Beal would be a sign-and-trade, since taking his $36.4 million contract would force the Cs to trade away from several key players separate.
“If Beal wanted to force his way to Boston, and the wizards were willing to cooperate, a sign-and-trade is the clear way to go,” noted McDonough. “That being said, Boston would have to hollow out their entire roster except for Tatum and maybe (Jaylen) Brown.”
What could a sign-and-trade deal for Beal look like?
“Al Horford’s contract would probably be in – $26.5 million for an expiring deal,” McDonough added. “And what does Washington want then? Do you want Robert Williams, Grant Williams, draft picks? These are Boston’s most valuable assets outside of Tatum and Brown.”
The possibility of a Tatum-Brown-Beal trio is very tempting. Beal led the Eastern Conference two seasons ago (31.3 points per game) and would give the Celtics three top-scoring goals. But the Wizards could call for either Brown or Marcus Smart in a back package for their franchise player, who turns 29 later this month and underwent season-ending wrist surgery in February.
Beal could make sense for the C’s eventually, but McDonough doesn’t see the three-time All-Star coming to Boston anytime soon.
“I think the Celtics could take on Beal, but I think the way that would happen would be a trade either at the close or next offseason,” McDonough said. “I think it’s very unlikely that Beal will end up in a Celtics shirt at the start of this season.”