“Multiple league sources say they made calls to the Wizards about Bradley Beal, but he only had interest in Phoenix,” wrote The Ringer’s Kevin O’Connor regarding the Raptors.
Beal wound up in his preferred destination, landing with the Phoenix Suns to team with Devin Booker and Kevin Durant in pursuit of an NBA championship. In return, Washington is set to receive Chris Paul, Landry Shamet and draft compensation.
It is unknown what the Raptors may have offered for Beal, but there has been much debate in NBA circles about whether the Wizards got enough for the 29-year-old.
It may have been enough for Washington just to get out of the remaining four years on Beal’s massive $251 million contract. The Wizards traded forward Rui Hachimura to the Los Angeles Lakers last season and could lose Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis as free agents this offseason with a full rebuild seemingly the plan.
Where Toronto fit into the talks for Beal is uncertain, but the Raptors are in a crucial offseason themselves after not qualifying for the playoffs. That failure led to the firing of head coach Nick Nurse, who led them to an NBA championship in 2019. He is being replaced by first-time NBA head coach Darko Rajakovic.
Guard Fred VanVleet is entering free agency, and the Raptors could move on from O.G. Anunoby and Pascal Siakam.
Having the names of those players leaked in talks could put the Heat in an awkward position to start this season, a scenario the Raptors may have avoided.
The Milwaukee Bucks and Sacramento Kings also reportedly were in the mix for the guard after he received permission from the Wizards to speak with other teams. Beal has a no-trade clause, which gave him control of his destination.
Despite not landing Beal, the Raptors strongly believe they are among the contenders in the Eastern Conference. Perhaps Toronto will use the players it was willing to trade for Beal in another move in an attempt to get even better.