5.9k Share this
The Boston Celtics have become synonymous with NBA trade rumors. Whenever a star player is rumored to be unhappy in their current situation, Celtics fans are quick to Photoshop said player in a Boston uniform. This year, guys like Damian Lillard and Donovan Mitchell both fell into that trap. But there’s been one player on Boston fans’ minds since the onset of last year: Bradley Beal.
Beal has a player option coming up this offseason and he’s likely to decline it. That doesn’t necessarily mean he’s leaving the Washington Wizards, just that he wants to explore his options. And based on the situation, Boston is undoubtedly one of his options.
Jayson Tatum and Beal have a well-documented friendship that dates back to their years growing up together in St. Louis. Though Beal is nearly five years older, the two grew up like brothers, with Beal essentially taking Tatum under his wing. According to Tatum on The Draymond Green Show on April 1, Beal would constantly wake him up early during the summertime and they’d spent the entire day hanging out and working on their games.
This friendship has become the basis for rumors that Beal could choose to join the Celtics if the opportunity ever presented itself. Well, based on a recent statement from Beal, it sounds like he’d enjoy playing in the city of Boston.
Beal on Boston and Tatum’s Situation
On the April 15 episode of the Celtics Talk podcast, Beal joined NBC Sports Boston analyst Chris Forsberg to talk about Tatum. He discussed what Tatum means to the city of Boston, and additionally, how it’s the perfect place for the young superstar to thrive:
To see Jayson be in the situation he’s in, to be in Boston, to be in a sports town, to be in basketball Mecca, essentially, there’s no story better written for him. All he has to do is just embrace the atmosphere that he’s been in.
Fans were quick to spin this quote about Tatum into another sign that Beal wants to come to Boston. To hear Beal speak so highly of Beantown was enough to get people’s minds racing again. When Forsberg tweeted out the quote, fans began to speculate in the replies:
Beal has repeatedly stated that he is open to staying in Washington, but with teams like the Celtics and Philadelphia 76ers potentially on the hunt for his services, it’s hard to imagine he doesn’t weigh his options. That being said, the Celtics would have to pull off a sign-and-trade if they wanted to bring him to town.
How Celtics Would Acquire Beal
With no cap space to work with, Boston would have to ship some players to Washington if they were to land Beal this summer. They have a bunch of players they could use to make the salaries match, but it would involve gutting the core they’ve established this season.
If the Celtics win the NBA Finals, then Al Horford’s $26.5 million becomes guaranteed and he could be used, along with a young player making around $3.1 million (like Aaron Nesmith), to match Beal’s potential salary. However, if the Celtics don’t win the Finals, then more players would have to be dealt in order to make a trade work.
In all likelihood, if Beal comes to Boston, that means two of the following three players would be on the way out: Horford, Marcus Smart, and/or Derrick White. Again, this would completely gut the defensive core that Boston put together this year.
Whether or not it’s worth it to trade for Beal is up to the Celtics, but if he did want to come to Boston, there are ways to make the deal happen. And based on the way he talked about the city with Forsberg, there’s still a chance he wants to play with his best friend.