Unseld Jr. doesn't think Simmons deal was ever a possibility


Before Bradley Beal underwent season-ending wrist surgery, there was speculation the three-time All-Star could be included in a potential swap with now ex-Sixers guard Ben Simmons. 

But any notion the Wizards were close to acquiring Simmons never reached Washington head coach Wes Unseld Jr. 

"I don't think that was ever in the cards," Unseld Jr. told the Sports Junkies on Monday morning. "Obviously, I think we're always looking at talent, whether those conversations were had I can't speak on that. I don't know. But as far as what was brought to me, no."

That's new information considering there had been rumors tying Beal to a potential swap with Simmons, who instead was traded to the Nets for James Harden. 

Beal's long-term future in Washington remains unclear as he weighs a player option coming this summer. Prior to the start of the regular season, Beal would forgo signing the max deal Washington offered him on the first day (Oct. 1, 2021) it was possible to. That doesn't mean Beal wanted out, but the situation did increase speculation surrounding his future. 

RELATED: Bradley Beal's injury led to major Wizards' trade deadline shakeup

Bill Simmons was among those to add fuel to the rumor mill during a recent episode of his podcast, saying Philadelphia center Joel Embiid preferred to pair up with Beal and was pushing the Sixers front office to get a deal done. 


“Embiid really wanted Bradley Beal and was pushing really hard for it and was talking to him all the time,” Simmons said. “And was pushing, pushing, pushing. And part of the reason the trade stuff took so long was because there was this Sixers side that wanted Harden. Obviously, Daryl (Morey), because Harden is his guy. But Embiid really wanted Beal because he felt like he was a better fit. And was pushing, pushing, pushing.

"Then Beal gets hurt. But then Embiid is still pushing. ‘No, no, no, Beal, Beal, Beal.’ Still working on him. And then Beal’s like, ‘I’m out.’ And he gets surgery. And then that’s how we end up with the Harden situation.”

Regardless if Simmons was ever seriously considered in a potential swap with Beal, it's interesting to hear Unseld Jr. say no discussions ever made it to him. Instead, Washington swung a trade with the Dallas Mavericks to acquire Kristaps Porzingis, who's working towards making his Wizards debut.

Though the Simmons-Harden mega-trade is sure to affect Beal in some way, Unseld Jr. was asked to give his take on the seismic deal. 

"Right now on paper, I think Brooklyn won that trade," Unseld Jr. said. "I say that because of the amount of shooting they can put on the floor. Obviously, you can downsize too. Play Ben Simmons at the 5, and you get Kyrie, KD, when Joe Harris gets healthy, plus Curry. The shooting around a guy who can be your point center and is a very good defender I think is a problem. I think it's going to be a matchup problem for a lot of teams."