Celtics

Bradley Beal reportedly would welcome a move to the Celtics if he requests a trade

Beal's likely entering the last year of his deal.

Bradley Beal could be the next NBA star on the move. The Associated Press

The trade rumor season in the NBA is underway, and the latest rumor is a good bit of news for the Celtics.

Wizards’ star Bradley Beal is reportedly considering a trade request ahead of Thursday’s NBA Draft, Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer reported Saturday. Beal doesn’t have a list of teams he’d demand a trade to, but the Celtics are one of at least four teams he’d welcome a trade to, Fischer added. The 76ers, Heat, and Warriors are the other three teams named.

Fischer speculated that the Celtics might have to get rid of a key player in order to acquire Beal.

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“Boston’s path to securing Beal would appear far more costly, as the Celtics’ offer almost certainly has to include Jaylen Brown and all of their future draft picks they are able to part with,” Fischer wrote.

“Brown may be the most valued young player the Wizards could net in any return—Ben Simmons included,” Fischer added.

Trading just Brown for Beal would work under the NBA’s salary rules. The Celtics traded away their 2021 first-round pick earlier this offseason but they have all their other future firsts available.

Of course, trading Brown would be tough for Boston. The 24-year-old is coming off his first All-Star season and is four years younger than Beal, who turned 28 in June. Brown’s also under contract for three more years while Beal can become an unrestricted free agent in 2022.

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If the Celtics could make an offer without Brown or Jayson Tatum, they’d likely have to move Marcus Smart and Tristan Thompson at least in order to match salaries. Young players like Robert Williams and Payton Pritchard would probably have to be included to help entice their offer and to help match salaries.

Trading for Beal has a pair of upsides for the Celtics. Beal’s been an All-Star in three of the last four seasons and was second in scoring this season, scoring 31.3 points per game.

A trade for Beal could also keep the Celtics’ top star happy with his situation in Boston. Beal and Tatum have been friends since childhood — the two grew up together in St. Louis. Before Beal had to drop out of playing in the Olympics due to COVID-19 protocols, Beal and Tatum shared their excitement about playing together on Team USA.

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“We’re both excited. For one, we grew up five minutes from each other,” Beal said. “To have two of the guys from the same high school on the same team, I don’t know if that’s ever happened for USA Basketball. We’re excited about it.”

“Two guys from the same neighborhood, the same high school going to the Olympics from St. Louis, that’s like a dream. That is amazing,” Tatum said.

Of course, Beal has yet to make any sort of decision and said following the Wizards’ playoff elimination in June that he’s “in control” of his future.

“People are going to report whatever they want, but I know where my mind is, and I know if it’s not coming from the horse’s mouth, then it’s going to be rumors. I expect them,” Beal said.

“So it doesn’t change anything. I guess it’s going to increase a lot more this year with me going into the last year of my deal, but for me, I’m just relaxing, resting my body, and we’ll evaluate all that when summer comes.”

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The NBA offseason will get rolling on Thursday with the NBA Draft and will continue with the opening of free agency on Aug. 2.

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