Boston Celtics Rumors: A trade for a third star could be back on

Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images)
Bradley Beal #3 of the Washington Wizards (Photo by Justin Ford/Getty Images) /

NBA trade rumors are heating up, and the Boston Celtics are in the middle of pretty much every rumor around.

The Celtics, who have won nine of their last 13 games, are still looking for different ways to switch things up on a team that has generally failed to meet expectations so far.

For the most part, Boston has been linked to a lot of deals revolving around their bench unit. Guys like Dennis Schroder and Aaron Nesmith have been the two most heavily talked about names, with Marcus Smart and Al Horford being thrown around occasionally too. The perception around the league is that the Celtics are trying to clear up their salary cap before the upcoming offseason so that they can make a run at some bigger names then.

While the rumors of the Celtics adding a third star have died down for the most part, they may have just picked up steam again in a hurry. Reports have come out from the Washington Wizards camp that their star guard, Bradley Beal, may not be as opposed to a trade as he was beforehand. Beal was a hot topic in Boston much of the previous offseason, and this may finally be the time for the C’s to strike and partner Beal up with Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown.

If the Boston Celtics want to get Bradley Beal, now would be the time to do so

By now I’m sure you all know the backstory of Tatum and Beal growing up in the same city and being childhood friends. As both players took their game to the next level last season, rumors swirled that they may look into trying to join forces at some point in the future. Their time with Team USA over the summer (which was cut short due to Beal testing positive for COVID) only reinforced the notion.

Those rumors eventually died down, as both players really showed no intention of moving on from their current squad. Beal has been notorious for wanting to figure things out with the sinking ship that is the Wizards franchise, while Tatum wanted to see what him and Brown could do over a full season together. And for the start of the season, that’s how things stood.

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But as both the Wizards and Celtics season hasn’t gone as expected, there’s been some movement under the surface that could help facilitate a deal. After a hot start, Washington has fallen all the way to 12th in the Eastern Conference, thanks in large part to a six game losing streak they find themselves on right now. There’s been some turmoil in the locker room which has led to another starter, Spencer Dinwiddie, becoming a trade target for the C’s as well.

But now, word has broken the Beal might not be as opposed to a trade as he once was, and the Wizards now have a week to figure out what to do with their star guard. What really forces the issue for Washington is that Beal has a player option in his contract after this season, so he could conceivably hit free agency and bolt, leaving the Wizards empty handed.

Beal’s first acknowledgement that he may be open to leaving Washington could just be the push that the Wizards need to trade Beal while they can. It could also be the push the Boston Celtics need to solve their guard issues by acquiring a star player of Beal’s caliber.

Over the course of his career, Beal has developed into one of the best scorer’s in the league. Beal averaged 30.5 points per game for the 2019-20 Wizards squad, but last season really felt like when Beal made his leap to superstardom. He averaged 31.5 points per game, and somehow ended up willing a dreadful Wizards team to the Play-In Tournament, where they eventually lost to the Celtics.

With Beal’s backcourt partner from last season, Russell Westbrook, getting traded to the Los Angeles Lakers, it seemed like the perfect time for Beal to move onto greener pastures, but he refused, and so far this season, he’s paid the price. Beal’s scoring has dropped all the way down to 23.2 points per game (which is still very good to say the least) and his efficiency from the field, particularly on three point shots, has dropped significantly as well.

As mentioned when I took a look at Dinwiddie’s potential fit in Boston, Beal has been in a bit of a power struggle in the backcourt this season. He wants to run the offense, but finds himself playing alongside another ball-dominant guard in Dinwiddie, although Dinwiddie typically is a solid distributor in fairness. Beal is actually taking about four shots less per game this season as Washington tries to spread the ball around, which has hurt Beal’s scoring.

Beal’s playmaking though has improved to a level we didn’t really know he was capable of. He’s averaging 6.6 assists per game this season, which is a career high. Beal has never really been known as a playmaker, so this jump in assists has hopefully caught the attention of the Celtics front office.

Beal wants to have control of the offense, and he would have that luxury in Boston. Considering the Wizards might have an increased sense of urgency to move Beal before the deadline, their asking price might be lower than what it initially was. This would be the perfect time for the Boston Celtics to swoop in a snag their third star to run alongside Tatum and Brown.

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Beal isn’t the cleanest fit alongside the two, and honestly the struggles that Tatum and Brown often have are things Beal has as well. But Beal hasn’t ever played with two players of Tatum and Brown’s caliber, and that could help open up things for all three of them. As difficult as it is for teams to slow down the Brooklyn Nets trio of Kevin Durant/James Harden/Kyrie Irving, the same thing could happen in Boston.

Beal’s overall impact from last season has decreased for the most part, but he’s still easily one of the best players in the league. He could solve Boston’s struggles of finding a true point guard, and create three-headed snake with Tatum and Brown that could take the league by storm. It may cost the Celtics a lot, but as I’ve said before, a trade for Beal would be worth it for the Boston Celtics.