The Golden State Warriors reportedly explored a trade for Washington Wizards star guard Bradley Beal during their two-year hiatus from the playoffs.
According to ESPN's Ramona Shelburne, Warriors general manager Bob Myers considered trying to speed up the process of getting the team back in contention by looking into trading for or signing a star to pair with Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson and Draymond Green.
Shelburne noted that "nothing came together in a way they liked" regarding Beal, so the Warriors instead decided to keep and develop some of the supporting players already on the roster, such as Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole and Damion Lee.
The decision paid dividends, as the Warriors are back in the NBA Finals for the sixth time in eight seasons on the heels of two consecutive years out of the playoffs.
With the Wizards struggling to establish themselves as contenders in the Eastern Conference, Beal has been the subject of trade rumors for the past few seasons.
Beal would undoubtedly net the Wizards a ton of draft picks and other assets to kick-start a rebuild, but they have stuck with him as the franchise cornerstone, which is a move that could come back to haunt them if he opts out of the final year of his contract this offseason.
It is easy to understand why the Warriors may have had interest in Beal, as he is a dominant offensive player and great shooter who would seemingly be an ideal fit in Golden State's system.
The three-time All-Star averaged over 30 points per game in both the 2019-20 and 2020-21 seasons, and he averages 22.1 points per game across his 10-year career, while also shooting 37.2 percent from beyond the arc.
Beal likely would have thrived under the tutelage of Warriors head coach Steve Kerr and may have helped Golden State return to its past level of dominance alongside Curry, Thompson and Green.
At the same time, the Warriors may have had to part with some pieces who have been key contributors during their resurgent 2021-22 season.
Wiggins and Poole may have been casualties in a trade for Beal, along with the 2021 first-round draft picks that saw the Dubs select Jonathan Kuminga and Moses Moody.
Kuminga was the team's fifth-leading scorer this season, and both players figure to be a huge part of the Warriors' future success.
It should also be noted that Beal missed all but 40 games this season because of a wrist injury. It isn't guaranteed that he would have experienced the same issues with Golden State, but if he had, it could have derailed the season because of the lack of depth trading for him would have created.
Things may have worked out just as well for the Warriors this season with Beal in the fold, but he ultimately wasn't needed to get Golden State to the NBA Finals.
It has long been said that sometimes the best move is the move you don't make, and the Warriors have proved that thus far.
Their work isn't done, though, as they are still four wins over the Boston Celtics away from celebrating their fourth championship in the past eight seasons.