Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal's name has been a constant in trade rumors. Despite his recent $72 million extension and repeated desire to stay in D.C., the trade speculation never seems to fully subside. The top-seeded Los Angeles Lakers (49-14) — like the Brooklyn Nets — are in the market for a third star to pair alongside LeBron James and Anthony Davis, and they may be eyeing the Wizards star, too.
On the latest episode of Complex's Load Management podcast, Shams Charania of The Athletic and Stadium reported that while the Wizards are expected to extend a supermax extension offer to Beal, it's not a guarantee that the two-time All-Star will sign the deal. If he declines, teams like the Lakers and others will surely try to take advantage.
Additionally, Charania noted that the Lakers have already shown interest in Beal “at different points,” though it's unclear what package they could offer that would sufficiently entice Washington. L.A. doesn't have too many assets to offer the Wizards in a trade package.
Beal is currently owed $28.75 million next season and $34.5 million in 2021-22 before a $37.26 million player option for 2022-23, which would also be tough for the Lakers to match in a trade. As recently as March, Beal reiterated his preference to have his “jersey retired in Washington.”
“For me, I look at Kobe, I look at D-Wade [Dwyane Wade], I look at Dirk [Nowitzki], U.D. [Udonis Haslem], how they can stay in one situation for a long time,” Beal told The Undefeated. “I hate change. If it happens, it happens. But if I can control it, I will finish in D.C.”
Beal is having a career season at the age of 26, averaging 30.5 points per game in the absence of backcourt mate John Wall. The Wizards (24-40) sit 5.5 games behind the Orlando Magic for the No. 8 seed in the East, but they will get a chance to vie for the final playoff spot when the NBA resumes in Orlando on July 31.
Even if they don't make the playoffs, all signs point to Washington running it back with Beal and Wall at least one more time before making any drastic moves, so the Lakers will likely have to look elsewhere.