We're less than a week away from the NBA Draft, and trade buzz is starting to ramp up in a major way as stars look to jockey for new homes and franchises try to find the best fit and value for their biggest pieces.
The Sixers are rumored to be in search of a blockbuster deal for either Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal, and a new report Saturday should have President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey leaping into action mode.
Bleacher Report insider Jake Fischer reported Saturday that Beal is considering requesting a trade ahead of next week's NBA Draft, on the heels of buzz that the Lakers are angling to acquire his Wizards teammate Russell Westbrook.
Here's a portion of what Fischer reported Saturday morning:
"Word has reached front offices around the league that Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal is considering requesting a trade prior to Thursday night's event.
"Beal does not have a proverbial list of preferred destinations, but it was mentioned by multiple sources that he would welcome joining teams such as Boston, Golden State, Miami or Philadelphia."
Can you hear that? That's the sound of Morey dialing Washington general manager Tommy Sheppard.
The Ringer's Kevin O'Connor reported earlier this week that the Sixers "want to make a blockbuster trade for Damian Lillard or Bradley Beal," so here's Morey's chance. Start peppering Sheppard with offers centered around Ben Simmons and see where you can go.
The Sixers flat-out need a guy who can get his own buckets, and Beal is flat-out a guy who gets his own buckets. He's a monster on offense who can score from anywhere on the court, and his price tag is likely lower than Lillard's, meaning the Sixers could hopefully hold on to either Tyrese Maxey or Matisse Thybulle - maybe both? - and could also not surrender every draft pick from here to 2035.
Beal technically has two years left on his deal, but he has a player option for the 2022-23 season meaning he'll likely opt out in search of a bigger payday. If the Sixers make this trade, they would be doing so with the confidence that Beal will sign an extension, which makes Beal "welcoming" a trade to the Sixers very helpful.
How does this sound for a deal:
SIXERS GET: Bradley Beal
WIZARDS GET: Ben Simmons, Isaiah Joe, 2023 1st Round Pick
Is that a better package than, say...
WARRIORS GET: Bradley Beal
WIZARDS GET: Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, 2021 No. 7 Overall Pick
CELTICS GET: Bradley Beal
WIZARDS GET: Jaylen Brown, Romeo Langford, Grant Williams, 2023 1st Round Pick
It's hard to say who wins out there. Simmons' value is down in Philadelphia, but not around the league. He's still an All-Star two-way impact player and he's just 24 years old.
I like the idea of adding Beal almost as much as the idea of adding Lillard. Beal is 28 years old, and if you can get him to sign a four-year extension you'll have him, Joel Embiid, and Tobias Harris as your much-better-spaced Big Three for a true prime championship window.
We'll see if Morey has something up his sleeve.