Celtics

Potential C's target Bradley Beal talks Wizards future after playoff exit

Celtics

The 2021 NBA offseason has begun for many teams, including the Boston Celtics after their first-round playoff exit to the Brooklyn Nets.

One potential trade target for the Celtics and any other franchise looking for another superstar-level talent is Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal.

Beal can become an unrestricted free agent following the 2021-22 season if he declines his player option for 2022-23. 

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After the Wizards were eliminated from the first round by the Philadelphia 76ers on Wednesday night, Beal was asked about his future in Washington. 

“I haven’t even -- we’re not gonna think about that, or even talk about it, right now,” Beal said.

Beal later added: “Ultimately, I’m in control. I think that’s my biggest thing. People are going to report whatever they want, but I know where my mind is and I know if it’s not coming from the horse’s mouth, then it’s going to be rumors. I expect them. S---, they’re starting now.

“It doesn’t change anything. I guess it’s going to increase a lot more this year with me going into the last year of my deal, but I’m just relaxing, resting my body and we’ll evaluate all that when summer comes.”

The Wizards barely made the playoffs as the No. 8 seed and aren't anywhere close to being a real threat to win the Eastern Conference anytime soon. 

 

If Beal really wants to win, Washington probably isn't the place to accomplish that.

Beal has been linked to the Celtics in various rumors and speculation in recent years. These reports aren't surprising by any means. The Celtics need a third star next to Jayson Tatum and Jaylen Brown to compete with teams like the Nets for East supremacy. Another reason why Boston is a popular pick as a potential Beal destination is his friendship with Tatum. They grew up together in St. Louis and have a close bond.

The 2021 free agent market likely won't include many A-list players. Teams trying to add a marquee star might have to look at the trade market instead, which is why Beal could be one of the most talked about players between now and July of 2022.