The Boston Celtics won’t just be entering the 2019 offseason with the prospect of star point guard Kyrie Irving opting out of the final year of his contract and entering unrestricted free agency. With the team’s failure to trade for New Orleans Pelicans star Anthony Davis — who is set to move to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for several young players and draft picks — the Celtics’ prospects for improving their roster this summer don’t appear as promising as they used to be. But Boston still has a valuable collection of assets that other teams could covet in the offseason, which makes a blockbuster trade possible. But who should the Celtics trade for, now that Davis is headed to Los Angeles?
Speaking this week on NBC Sports Boston’s Arbella Early Edition, Sports Illustrated’s Chris Mannix explained that Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal could be a good trade target for the Celtics in lieu of Davis. As quoted on the NBC Sports Boston website, Mannix said that Beal is the “obvious guy” on the Wizards who could be traded, although the Celtics could have a tricky time acquiring him without parting ways with young forward Jayson Tatum, a close friend of Beal’s who also grew up in St. Louis, per The Washington Post.
“Ted Leonsis, the owner in Washington, loves Bradley Beal, but a new GM could walk in there and say look, I’ve got John Wall probably not playing next season,” Mannix continued. “Bradley Beal has three years left on his contract. He is an enormously valuable trade asset. Can you get a Bradley Beal without throwing a Jayson Tatum in a trade? I don’t know. But Bradley Beal is the next big star, I think, that could be available.”
Tatum’s friendship with Beal was then brought up by NBC Sports Boston’s Chris Forsberg, who pointed out that both players could have “immediate” chemistry, given that they also attended the same high school.
With point guard John Wall expected to miss most of the 2019-20 NBA season as he recovers from a torn Achilles that he suffered in January, the Washington Wizards are likely to focus on rebuilding efforts in the 2019 offseason. Beal, on the other hand, could fit in well if he gets traded to the Celtics, as he has the potential to replace Kyrie Irving’s shooting and scoring — assuming he leaves as a free agent as expected. However, NBC Sports Boston warned that acquiring the 25-year-old Beal might be challenging for the Celtics, especially since he had a career year in 2018-19, averaging 25.6 points, five rebounds, and 5.5 assists.
Furthermore, the outlet stressed that there are other teams that have been rumored to be interested in Beal, including the New Orleans Pelicans. According to CBS Sports, the Pelicans could consider moving some of the assets they will be acquiring from the Lakers in the Anthony Davis trade as they try to give Jrue Holiday a proven shooting guard to team with as part of their starting backcourt.