Bradley Beal reportedly will be watched very closely during the NBA offseason, with several factors creating a scenario where the Washington Wizards could look to make the high-priced guard available to other teams.
“Beal has a unique contract unlike anybody else’s in the NBA,” Brian Windhorst said on ESPN’s “Get Up.” “He has a no-trade clause, which means not only can he decide if he wants to leave the Wizards, but he can decide who and what he is traded for. It makes it extremely difficult to find a deal, and Michael Winger has said he has not made up his mind yet, but that indecision has led teams to keep a very close eye on the Wizards as they not only have Beal but big free agents Kyle Kuzma and Kristaps Porzingis.”
Beal last season played 50 games in the first year of a five-year, $251 million contract extension he signed in July 2022. He played only 40 games in the 2021-22 season and has averaged 23.2 points per game in each of the past two seasons.
That is a sharp drop from his back-to-back seasons averaging more than 30 points per game from 2019 to 2021, when Beal was among the top scorers in the NBA. It is perhaps a sign of a player in decline, which combined with his huge contract, could hurt his market value to the point where Washington is concerned. However, other teams looking to acquire the 29-year-old could see it as a buy-low opportunity with a potential bounce back as an attractive outcome.
One executive recently said that Beal is not the kind of player to build around but one who would be more successful as a No. 2 or No. 3 option.
Winger, the new Wizards president, might begin a rebuild following another losing season. Washington was 35-47 last season and hasn’t finished a regular season above .500 since 2018. Kuzma and Porzingis both have player options for the 2023-24 season, so the Wizards’ roster could look very different pretty soon.
That also could be the case for several NBA teams, with extensive player movement expected in a “major reset” for the league.
The Miami Heat are one team likely to be very active, and Beal could be on their radar. Damian Lillard is another top player who has been linked to the Heat, and Kyrie Irving reportedly was a Miami target in advance of the NBA trade deadline in February.
It will be interesting to see how Beal is valued by teams looking to improve this offseason and what pieces the Wizards might be able to acquire that would speed up their possible rebuild.