How did the Celtics acquire Bradley Beal? The former NBA general manager is paving the way


How did the Celtics acquire Bradley Beal? The former NBA general manager is paving the way originally appeared on NBC SportsBoston

The Boston Celtics came within two wins of an NBA championship, but because they narrowly missed out, there will be plenty of talk in the offseason about how they can ride out the bump.

Should Bradley Beal be mentioned in this discussion?

The Washington Wizards star has been a Celtics target for several years, in part because of his very close relationship with a childhood friend Jayson Tatum. Beal can become a free agent this offseason if he turns down his $36.4 million player option, and as former Phoenix Suns general manager and ex-Celtics executive Ryan McDonough explained Monday., the best financial decision for Beal is to turn down this player option and sign a new contract with the Wizards.

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“Bradley Beal makes an extra $64 million if he opts out of his contract and then re-signs in Washington,” McDonough said on NBC Sports Boston. First edition, as seen in the video above. “He can do a five-year extension with the Wizards. They’re the only team in the league he can sign with for that term.”

Beal said recently he has already made his decision on his future as a player but refused to reveal his decision. Since players technically can’t negotiate with other teams until free agency begins on June 30, that likely means Beal has decided to resume with Washington.

Even if Beal steps down and becomes a free agent, the best route for Boston to acquire Beal would be through a sign and trade, as taking his $36.4 million salary for 2022-23 would force the Cs to part ways with several main players.

“If Beal wanted to force his way to Boston and the Wizards were willing to cooperate, a sign and a trade is the clear path,” McDonough noted. “Other than that, Boston should dump their entire roster other than Tatum and maybe (Jaylen) Brown.”

What could a sign-and-trade deal look like for Beal?

“Al Horford’s contract would probably be in there – $26.5 million on an expiring contract,” McDonough added. “And then, what does Washington want? do they want Robert Williams, Grant Williams, draft pick? They are Boston’s most valuable assets outside of Tatum and Brown.”

The possibility of a Tatum-Brown-Beal trio is very enticing. Beal led the Eastern Conference in scoring two seasons ago (31.3 ppg) and would give the Celtics three top scorers.

But wizards might demand Brown or Smart Marcus in a comeback package for their franchise player, who turns 29 later this month and underwent season-ending wrist surgery in February. That might be too high a price for Celtics president of basketball operations Brad Stevens, who has a talented young core that just lifted the team to its first NBA Finals berth since 2010.

Beal might make sense for the Cs at some point, but McDonough doesn’t see the three-time All-Star coming to Boston anytime soon.

“I think the Celtics could acquire Beal, but I think the way that would happen would be a trade either at the trade deadline or next offseason,” McDonough said. “I think it’s very unlikely that Beal will end up in a Celtics uniform to start this season.”