The Warriors and their core stars reportedly have Bradley Beal atop their trade wishlist this offseason. The Washington Wizards star now is "considering" requesting a trade before the 2021 NBA Draft next Thursday, Bleacher Report's Jake Fischer reported Saturday citing league sources.
"He knows he has to make a decision before the draft," one source with direct knowledge of Beal's thinking told Bleacher Report.
Steph Curry, Klay Thompson, and Draymond Green all have conveyed their desire for the Warriors to trade their two lottery picks in next weeks draft, the seventh and 14th overall selections, to bring in a more proven player, The Athletic's Marcus Thompson reported earlier this week. Beal, whose name has been floated in trade rumors for more than a year as Washington toils in Eastern Conference mediocrity, was at the top of that reported wishlist.
It makes sense that Beal feels pressure to make a decision before the draft next week, as any potential draft picks that would need to be included in a deal for the star guard will have significantly more value before Thursday's event than they will after being utilized.
If Beal were to seek a new team, he would only want to land in an "established winning environment," Fischer reported citing league sources. Although the last two years have been different, few NBA teams have won more in the past decade than the Warriors.
Beal and Curry had a race down to the end for the NBA scoring title last season, before a late-season hamstring injury took the Wizards guard out of the running.
Fischer reported citing sources that Beal doesn't have a list of desired destinations, but indicated that the 28-year-old would "welcome joining teams such as Boston, Golden State, Miami or Philadelphia."
For what it's worth, Wizards insider Quinton Mayo of Blue Wire called the report false shortly after it came out Saturday morning.
It likely wouldn't take quite the haul of draft picks the Los Angeles Lakers shelled out for Anthony Davis a few years ago, but the Warriors would have to part with at least their two lottery picks this year, likely at least one or two future first-round selections, and Andrew Wiggins to make the salaries match up with Washington.
"Considering" is a far cry from demanding, but Beal clearly is pondering what he wants his NBA future to look like, and where he wants the next chapter of his career to unravel.
The Warriors would immediately land among the top of the Western Conference favorites, and the scoring punch of Curry, Beal and Thompson would be quite the defensive nightmare for opponents.
With five days until draft day, it sounds like Beal is on the clock until the Detroit Pistons go on the clock.