Boston Celtics: If Bradley Beal requests trade, C’s need to go all in

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 08: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards defends Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - JANUARY 08: Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards defends Jayson Tatum #0 of the Boston Celtics (Photo by Maddie Meyer/Getty Images) /

The NBA offseason is set to kick into high gear very quickly. With the NBA Draft only a few days away, and free agency opening up shortly after, a potentially hectic offseason is finally upon us. For the Boston Celtics their offseason has already seen a lot of activity, with Kemba Walker being traded and Ime Udoka being hired as their new head coach.

The C’s might see some more activity over the next couple of days if things break their way. Reports came out today that Bradley Beal is contemplating requesting a trade from the Washington Wizards. Not only that, but of the teams Beal would be willing to go to, Boston is reportedly at the top of that list.

This is huge news for the Boston Celtics. After offloading Walker to the Oklahoma City Thunder, the C’s have a gaping hole at the guard position. If they could find a way snag Beal from the Wizards, that would be a huge win for Boston.

However, there is a lot working against a deal for Beal happening. For starters, the C’s don’t have a ton of assets to use in a trade unless they want to send them Jaylen Brown. There’s a good chance this will turn into a bidding war if he ends up requesting a trade too, so it may end up not being beneficial for the Celtics in the long run to unload everything for Beal.

Would a Bradley Beal trade benefit the Boston Celtics?

There’s a lot to unpack when it comes to a potential Beal trade to the Celtics, but first let’s look at what Beal brings to the table. Beal followed up a really solid 2019-20 season by elevating his game to another level in 2020-21. Tasked with being the main source of offense for Washington, Beal stepped up to average 31.3 points per game while shooting 48.5 percent from the field, which was the highest in his career.

Beal has turned into one of the most dynamic scorers in the league, and he would be able to slot into a starting guard role in Boston’s lineup. There are probably better fits for the C’s offense, but Beal’s ability to take over and score at will is something Boston sorely missed aside from Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown. He averaged 6.1 assists per game during the 2019-20 season, and while that number was down to 4.4 this season, that was partially due to the lack of options Washington had, and him playing more off ball alongside Russell Westbrook.

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Beal has shown the ability to be the primary ballhandler in an offense, which is exactly what Boston needs. Their plan of Kemba Walker and Jeff Teague went as poorly as it could have last season, so why would they try to find a temporary solution at the position again for next season? Beal comes in and gives you that solution right away.

Of course, there comes the dilemma of what you have to give up to get Beal. He obviously won’t be cheap, and the C’s don’t have a ton of assets to get him. That raises the question of whether Jaylen Brown should be included a potential deal for Beal.

Let’s make one thing clear; if Brown is needed to get Beal, they shouldn’t make that deal. However, that shouldn’t be necessary. Think about what the Brooklyn Nets gave up to get James Harden; a few role players and a plethora of picks. The Boston Celtics don’t have a lot of picks this year, but they do down the line.

A package headlined by Marcus Smart and a bunch of picks or young players is the route Boston will have to go. They may not be able to match the firepower of other teams Beal has said he would be OK to get traded to (rumored to be the Philadelphia 76ers, Miami Heat, & Golden State Warriors), but they do have something other teams don’t; Jayson Tatum.

By now, Beal and Tatum’s story has become common knowledge. Lifelong friends from St. Louis, Beal and Tatum have always been rumored to want to play together after playing against each other their entire lives. They were supposed to have that opportunity with Team USA at the Olympics, but Beal was forced out of the Games due to COVID-19.

Now they may have that opportunity in the NBA if Beal requests a trade. And the thing that may shift the scales in Boston’s favor is Tatum and Beal’s friendship.

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Referencing the Harden-Brooklyn trade again, Harden requested a trade specifically to Brooklyn, which essentially took all the leverage away from the Houston Rockets, allowing Brooklyn the time to come up with a package to land him. It’s been reported that Boston would be Beal’s top destination, and if he makes that public knowledge, that would essentially pave Beal’s path to Boston.

There’s a lot that would have to break right for this to work for the Boston Celtics, but if presented the opportunity, they should absolutely do what it takes to land Beal, outside of trading Brown. Pairing Beal with Tatum and Brown gives Boston it’s best chance of establishing themselves as legit championship contenders, and if they want to stop having short playoff runs, they would be wise to make a move like this one.