It is common practice in today’s NBA for a player to leave a team with which he has spent all (or even just the majority of) his career to see what else is out there. That is one of the luxuries of a league that can be even harsher and seemingly cold-hearted to its players: it’s a business, both ways. Beal seems to be teetering towards entering free agency as an unrestricted free agent; however, no official word has come out yet from him to confirm this fact. There is only one Twitter source confirming it: Michael Scotto of HoopsHype.
Bradley Beal’s Decision
Reports came out late Tuesday night that Bradley Beal would be declining his player option and entering free agency as an unrestricted free agent. These reports originated from Michael Scotto of HoopsHype through a tweet on his account. Shortly after Scotto dropped the news on Twitter, Bradley Beal put out a tweet that said, “Wait huh? Lol.” Due to the news and the timing of Beal’s tweet, it is relatively simple to decipher the meaning: he hasn’t made a final decision yet.
Beal’s decision will significantly impact the direction the Washington Wizards decide to go. If Beal stays, the Wizards will want to put as much talent around him as possible to compete for a title; they would be in win-now mode. Also, that would essentially guarantee that Washington will be active on Thursday to try and move up in the draft from its No. 10 pick to No. 4, or trade that pick for a player like Malcolm Brogdon, who can take over some lead guard duties. However, if Beal opts to test free agency, which seems to be the direction he is leaning, the Wizards could decide to blow it all up and trade the assets they have for draft capital and young, high-ceiling players. Only time will tell what he chooses, but I don’t think Scotto’s tweet is definitive. At least, not yet.
Wait huh? Lol
— Bradley Beal (@RealDealBeal23) June 22, 2022
Best Fit For Bradley Beal
Assuming that Beal opts to leave Washington, it only makes sense that he would be looking to join forces with other great players in the NBA to try and win a ring. Beal would be turning down nearly $250 million with Washington, so I don’t think he will be making a lateral move to another non-contender. Sportsbooks seem to be leaning towards the Boston Celtics being the favorites to land Beal, and I agree. Beal tilts the needle for Boston to be championship favorites next season and for the foreseeable future. At times, Boston’s offense during the NBA Finals was ice cold, and adding a threat like Beal would immediately eliminate that issue. Other potential suitors for Beal could be the Denver Nuggets, Los Angeles Lakers, or Miami Heat. Miami is my second-favorite option for Beal because it needs more scoring threats on its team. Like Boston, Miami relies too heavily on tough shot-making and defense; it needs a fluid offense with plenty of offensive weapons to take that next step.
Source: Wizards star Bradley Beal will decline his $36.4 million player option for the 2022-23 season and become an unrestricted free agent this summer, @hoopshype has learned. More on Beal’s future, Bobby Portis, Nicolas Batum, and others in the story. https://t.co/sT8KU2qBUr
— Michael Scotto (@MikeAScotto) June 22, 2022