A report surfaced from Jordan Brenner of The Athletic on Tuesday morning that the Boston Celtics could be in the mix for Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal should Kyrie Irving walk via free agency.
With Irving’s departure considered all but a foregone conclusion at this point, it’s very likely that Celtics general manager Danny Ainge already has some contingency plans lined up, and it seems that Beal may be in his sights.
But just what would it take for Boston to pry Beal away from Washington?
That’s just the thing. It would probably take quite a bit, as Beal will likely have numerous interested parties this offseason, and with two years left on his deal at about $55 million in total, he doesn’t really have a bad contract.
Beal is just 26 years old and is coming off of a 2018-19 campaign in which he averaged 25.6 points, 5.5 assists, five rebounds and 1.5 steals over 36.9 minutes per game while shooting 47.5 percent from the floor, 35.1 percent from three-point range and 80.8 percent from the free-throw line.
His usage was significantly higher with John Wall out for most of the year, and, as a result, he saw a significant bump in his numbers.
But is he really that great?
The fact of the matter is that Beal is a rather inconsistent perimeter shooter, as evidenced by the fact that he was basically league average from deep this season. He is also not an elite defender, and while he is certainly not a scrub on that end, he is no Marcus Smart.
The Celtics have a plethora of assets to offer the Wizards, ranging from proven young players to raw young talent to endless draft picks.
Washington would likely immediately ask for Jayson Tatum, but the chances of Boston trading Tatum for a player like Beal are probably zero. The C’s then have guys like Smart, Jaylen Brown and Robert Williams, not to mention three picks in this draft and a future first-rounder from the Memphis Grizzlies.
So, the Celtics have the pieces to interest the Wizards.
The question is whether or not a player of Beal’s caliber is worth coughing up a lot of assets.
I’m just going to say this right now: Boston should not offer Tatum or Smart in a deal for Beal. This is not Anthony Davis we are talking about here. We are talking about a good scorer with solid efficiency who is only a decent defensive player.
Is that worth surrendering a potential superstar in Tatum or a First-Team All-Defender who clearly makes the team better on both ends of the floor? Sorry, but no.
What the Celtics can offer is a package around Brown, which would then have to include Williams, other young pieces and draft picks. There is then also the matter of salary filler that will make this potential deal even trickier, as Beal is set to make $27 million next season.
Honestly, while Beal to Boston is certainly an interesting topic, it probably doesn’t make much sense from the Celtics’ point of view. The Wizards would certainly ask for two of Tatum, Brown and Smart, and in that scenario, Boston would be giving up established talent for a player who is worse than Irving.
So, basically, the Celtics would probably be worse off than they were this past year, and then, they would be down some young pieces in the process.
Trading for Beal would just seem like a knee-jerk, panic move, and that is not how Ainge operates. Unless Boston can get him for an absolute steal, it’s probably best for the C’s to pass.
The Celtics should absolutely still try to be in the market for a franchise-changing star, but Bradley Beal is not that guy.