While it’s still early in the season, many things are being made clear in the early goings.
One of those things is that Bradley Beal still has no help in D.C.
The Washington Wizards are off to a 2-8 start, with Beal leading the league in scoring at 35 points per game.
With the Wizards off to a rough start, that begs the question: is Bradley Beal finally going to be made available for trade this year?
It feels like Bradley Beal’s name has been rumored in trade talks for years at this point. The 2017-18 season was the last time the Wizards made the playoffs, and they were a first-round exit that season. Beal hasn’t ever come out publicly and said anything to think he wants out, but with the team showing little hope yet again this season, things may change quickly.
For the Sixers, we’ve been flooded with Ben Simmons for James Harden rumors from the moment Daryl Morey took the job as president of basketball operations. One factor keeping that trade from making total sense is the age difference between Simmons and Harden. Ben Simmons is 24 years old, and James Harden is 31. Thinking about a Bradley Beal trade keeps the window for contention open for seemingly a lot longer. Beal is only 27 years old, which puts his prime right in line with Joel Embiid’s.
Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer recently reported that teams looking to make a big trade are starting to shift their focus to Bradley Beal. In his article, O’Connor notes that Philadelphia is “a threat to acquire anyone if Daryl Morey is willing to give up Ben Simmons.”
That’s going to be a question looming over the Sixers until the trade deadline. Ben Simmons would likely be the best young player involved in a trade package for any star player so that the ball may end up in Morey’s court at some point. The Wizards likely want to keep Beal even if they can’t turn things around this season. Tommy Sheppard, the Wizards GM, has stated time and time again that Bradley Beal isn’t going anywhere.
It’s tough to believe anything anybody says in the NBA, however. Sheppard said similar things about John Wall just days before his eventual trade to the Houston Rockets. Bradley Beal is a special player, though, and it’s obviously very tough for any team to give that up.
It’s always felt like a Bradley Beal trade is inevitable. Not a matter of if, but when. Could this be the year that Beal forces his way out? If he does, the Sixers should absolutely get themselves involved right away. Ben Simmons is an amazing talent, but when it comes down to it, having Bradley Beal on this team through at least 2023 is impossible to pass up.
Daryl Morey is one of the smartest basketball executives in the league. I can guarantee that he’s monitoring the Bradley Beal situation just as much as the James Harden one right now.
If Bradley Beal wants out, the 76ers are primed to offer the best possible package, headlined by Ben Simmons.
If Daryl Morey believes this team is one piece away from title contention, he will be ready to pull the trigger.
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