Boston Celtics star Jayson Tatum was supposed to have the chance to play with fellow St. Louis native Bradley Beal in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, but he would likely be fine with Beal coming to Beantown instead.
The road to Tokyo has been rife with challenges. Beal is among those who entered into health and safety protocols and did not travel with the team to Tokyo. Team USA disappointed on Sunday, dropping their opening Olympic contest to France.
Gregg Popovich’s team has plenty of work to turn the corner and reassert its status as tournament favorite. Tatum will try to help right the ship, but he also seems to be preparing for what could be an enormous career move on Beal’s part.
Bradley Beal is considering requesting a trade
Beal expressed his frustration with the Wizards’ lack of success at multiple points throughout the course of the last season. However, he also repeatedly reiterated his desire to be in Washington and win in D.C.
The 28-year-old might be reconsidering his stance.
Bleacher Report‘s Jake Fischer reported Beal is grappling with whether to request a trade ahead of Thursday’s draft, with one source telling Fischer that Beal “knows he has to make a decision before the draft.”
Beal has become one of the best combo guards in the NBA. He averaged a career-high 31.3 points and shot a career-high 48.5% from the field during the 2020-21 campaign. His ability to get to his spots and create off the dribble has made him one of the most explosive scorers and playmakers in the game.
Beal would undoubtedly be one of the most attractive players on the market if the Wizards made him available. He only just turned 28 years old and can be a franchise player for any number of interested contenders.
Might one of those interested contenders be the Boston Celtics?
Jayson Tatum wants to see the Celtics trade for Beal
Fischer reported the Celtics are one of the teams Beal would be interested in joining. That is music to Tatum’s ears.
Tatum commented a shamrock emoji on an Instagram post about the Golden State Warriors’ reported interest in Beal. The Wizards could likely spark a bidding war if they put Beal on the block, but Tatum appears to want the C’s to do what’s necessary to bring his hometown friend to Boston.
The two St. Louis natives have long shared an affinity for one another. They lived just five minutes down the street from one another, and their separate trajectories have led to NBA superstardom. Beal elaborated on his relationship with Tatum during Team USA camp.
It’s essentially become commonplace for friends to want to play together in the modern NBA.
LeBron James’ relationship with Anthony Davis prompted the Los Angeles Lakers to acquire The Brow ahead of the 2019-20 season. Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant’s friendship served as a baseline for both players signing with the Brooklyn Nets in the summer of 2019, and their closeness with James Harden also played a role in The Beard being traded to the Nets.
Tatum and Beal might relish the chance to play with one another if they are afforded the opportunity. But will the Wizards trade Beal, and can the Celtics outbid other squads?
What the Celtics might offer for Beal
The Celtics might have to assemble some kind of godfather offer to acquire Beal.
The Warriors have plenty of assets to offer should they pursue Beal. Golden State can put together a package including the No. 7 and No. 14 picks in the 2021 NBA Draft. The Dubs can also throw in James Wiseman, with the inclusion of Andrew Wiggins to make the money work.
Boston doesn’t have the same level of draft capital as the Warriors. Now, the Celtics could send numerous future picks to Washington, but there has to be some kind of supplement. They would likely have to entice the Wizards with some players.
Any package would likely have to start with Marcus Smart. The Celtics would also likely have to include Tristan Thompson for financial purposes and might have to round things out by including Robert Wiliams and 2020 first-round pick Aaron Nesmith. Would that kind of offer be enough for the Wizards?
Boston is unlikely to trade for Beal if it requires sending Jaylen Brown the other way. That said, they’ll have to get creative to entice Washington.
Regardless, Tatum and the Celtics are hungry to bounce back after a tumultuous 2020-21 season. The superstar swingman is keen on seeing Beal in Celtic green.
Stats courtesy of Basketball Reference.