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Bradley Beal Trade Rumors: Wizards Want to Keep Star Amid Lakers Buzz

Paul KasabianFeatured Columnist IIDecember 21, 2022

Phoenix Suns' Mikal Bridges (25) guards Washington Wizards' Bradley Beal (3) during the first half of an NBA basketball game in Phoenix, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022. (AP Photo/Darryl Webb)
AP Photo/Darryl Webb

The 12-20 Washington Wizards sit 12th in the Eastern Conference after recently experiencing a nine-game losing streak, but the team reportedly has no interest in blowing up the roster and trading three-time All-Star guard Bradley Beal.

Josh Robbins of The Athletic reported the news during a Q-and-A session with colleague Jovan Buha, with the two speculating about how Beal would be a great fit on the Los Angeles Lakers alongside Anthony Davis and LeBron James.

At one point, Buha asked why the Wizards would want to trade Beal, and Robbins offered this response: "They don't. Knowing how rare All-Star-caliber players are — heck, there are only a total of 24 of them each season — they want to keep Beal and upgrade the roster around him, going with a 'middle-build' strategy."

That news dropped after a report from Buha, who wrote that "the Lakers have interest in Kevin Durant, Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal if any of the three stars were to become available."

Buha made clear that this was an "ultimate pie-in-the-sky scenario" and not based off any reported availability of any of those players.

Beal is currently signed to a five-year, $251 million contract that runs through 2026 (or 2027 if Beal exercises his player option).

On the Dec. 17 edition of the Lowe Post podcast, ESPN's Zach Lowe reported that he spoke to front offices around the league about Beal's trade value, specifically in regards to a speculative deal involving Lakers guard Russell Westbrook and draft choices (22-minute mark).

Lowe got a range of opinions on the topic, and some execs believed the Wizards should do what they could to get out of the contract. However, others thought Washington should hang onto Beal because of his talent.

Washington is far better with Beal this season (8-11) than without him (4-9). He was injured three minutes into a Dec. 4 loss to the Lakers (hamstring) and proceeded to miss the next six games (all losses). He's averaged 28.0 points per game in the two matchups since his return, including an impressive 113-110 road win over the Phoenix Suns.

Ultimately, it doesn't appear that Beal will be heading to L.A. any time soon, even if he could seamlessly fit into the 13-17 Lakers. For now, Beal and the Wizards will look to stay in the win column when they visit the Utah Jazz on Thursday.