As the new season starts, the inevitable Bradley Beal trade rumors are starting. So I decided to write down some of my thoughts about that now.
The basics we all know, Tatum and Beal are friends from childhood and Beal has played his whole career with a bad Washington team. He can opt out of his final year next season and so far he has not signed the max extension Washington supposedly has on the table now.
Will Beal demand a trade at some point this season and if so will his desired locale end up being Boston?
The truth is even in the worst case NBA divorces players don’t ever limit a trade to only one team.
Well then one could argue Beal can just opt out and Boston can sign him as an UFA. The problem there is the Celtics already have over $149M in salary on the books for next season, with 11 players. Even releasing Horford and Hernangomez only saves about $19M. so we’d be at $130M not counting cap holds and draft picks. With the salary cap next season in the $120M range the Celtics would have to come up with about $40M in salary saving to get $30M in space alone. Beal will be getting in the $35M PLUS salary range as a UFA.
Well you may respond, Beal can sign here under a sign and trade next year then. While technically that is true, reality says it is not very likely. Any sign trades where a team brings in a player manes that team cannot go over the tax apron at any time that year. .the tax apron is typically around $7M More than the tax line. The apron may be as much as $151M next season.
So for the Celtics to get Beal in a sign and trade they would have to send out in trade (somewhere) at least the amount of his first year salary along with at least the vet minimum for each roster spot needed, to stay under the Apron. In the section above we saw we have $149M in salarys now with 11 roster spots. Add four roster spot at minimum and you are at around $156M in salarys, which iis already OVR the hard apron. Cutting Horford and Hernangomez save about $19M, a net of $15M after adding two more vet minimum deals.
All of that would mean to sign and trade for Beal next season, the Celtics would likely have a rosetr that had at least 4 players on vet minimum deals and even then it would be hard to stay under the Hard cap apron.
Which leaves us at trading for Beal while he is still under his current deal.
Beal currently has a salary of $33.7M and any trade has to meet cap rules since Boston is over the cap. So the MINIMUM we can send back to Washington in salary is around $26.9M.
Many Celtic fans believe a trade can be cobbled together using players not including Brown of course Tatum. So let me see what type of offers Boston could put together in that case.
Washington would have zero interest in bringing in Horford, IMO. So the next biggest Salarys’ are
M. Smart- 14.3M
J. Richardson- 11.6M
J. Hernangomez- 7.0M
D. Schroder- 5.9M
R. Langford- 3.8M
A. Nesmith- 3.6M
P. Pritchard- 2.1M
I leave out Rob Williams, due to the rules for players who sign an extension with a large increase and Grant, Bruno, Kanter and Parker as I don’t think they have any value to Washington and they have low salary’s.
Putting together a trade for Beal ( Minimum $26.9M in salary going out) could include deals like
1) Smart, Richardson, Nesmith OR Romeo along with draft assets for Beal
2) Smart, Hernangomez, along with two of Nesmith, Langford or Pritchard
3) Richardson, Hernangomez, Schroder along with Nesmith of Langford
Any of the above deal meet the CBA rules for trades.
So why do I think a trade to Boston is unlikely then?
I believe other teams can offer more that any of those deals I listed above. I will list some here ( all of these teams have been listed as interested in Beal at one time or another).
Philadelphia can send B. Simmons (33.0M) and draft assets to Washington
NY can send E. Fournier (17.1M), RJ Barrett (8.6M) O, Tobbin (5.1M) and draft assets to Washington
Brk can send K. Irving (35.3M) to Washington
GS can send A. Wiggins (31.6M), J. Wiseman (9.1m) and Kumunga (5.5M) to Washington for Beal and Bertans (who Washington would love to move off of)
Denver can send barton (15.6M) Morris (8.8M) Jamychal green (8.2M) and draft assets to Washington
I believe the Philly, Nets and GS deals are better than any of those by Boston and the Knicks can offer more and better draft options. Only the Denver deal is one that Washington could prefer one of the Celtics deals above over, IMO.
All of the above is why I think ANY trade for Beal to Boston WILL requires J. Brown going to Washington in return. IF Stevens wants Beal here, we will have to outbid other teams and IMO that means Brown will be gone.
And I for one do not want to exchange Brown for Beal.
So that’s my take on Beal coming here, I try to look at it without green goggles and from each teams perspective the best I can. I wish I could believe that Beal could come here for Richardson, Schroder, Hernangomez and a couple future LATE first round picks, but I simply think that is pie in the sky.