With the NBA draft set to take place Nov. 18 and no date set for the start of free agency, the NBA rumor mill is churning with talk of trades involving some of its biggest stars.
But one player who would be one of the most valuable transaction assets is reportedly staying put. The Denver Post's Mike Singer speculated recently that Washington Wizards guard Bradley Beal would be a strong fit with the Denver Nuggets but revealed that the 27-year-old is not being shopped this offseason.
Singer laid out a pair of roadblocks that the Wizards would face in dealing the two-time All-Star:
"The first is that he's given no indication he wants to leave Washington, and multiple league sources believe the Wizards don't want to move him. He has two more seasons before deciding on a 2022-'23 player option, which buys the Wizards time. Not that the Wizards have been in anything other than purgatory the last few seasons, but moving Beal means a full-scale rebuild."
Beal has experienced four postseasons in his eight years with the Wizards, who last made the playoffs in the 2017-18 season, when they fell in the first round.
The former first-round pick is the only player who keeps Washington's heads above water. As the league's second-leading scorer (behind only James Harden), Beal averaged 30.5 points per game. The Wizards' second-most productive player was Davis Bertans, who averaged around half of that (15.4).
In addition to revealing that the Wizards are hesitant to move Beal, Singer's dispatch also noted that the Nuggets are sticking with rookie Michael Porter Jr., whose emergence in the bubble proved Denver correct about holding on to the 2018 first-round pick when he was sought-after at the deadline.
Singer reported that the Nuggets would not send Porter to Washington in exchange for Beal and that the team is "unlikely to part with Porter unless they get a superstar in return."
ESPN's Brian Windhorst affirmed this stance in an appearance on his Hoop Collective podcast (h/t RealGM): "In talking to teams around the league, the Nuggets have made it clear: Michael Porter Jr. is not available. Do not ask."
After he missed the 2018-19 season with a back injury, Porter contributed 9.3 points and 4.7 rebounds per game as the Nuggets punched their ticket to the Western Conference Finals. But the power forward exploded in the bubble, and he averaged 11.4 points and 6.7 rebounds in 19 postseason outings.
With Beal and Porter out of the trade conversation this offseason, there's no promise that another in-demand player is going to be on the move, either. SNY's Ian Begley reported that Boston Celtics forward Gordon Hayward is sparking interest with the Indiana Pacers, though the Celtics have not made it clear what they would want to receive in return—if they are open to a transaction at all.
According to Begley, "some within the Pacers organization continue to have interest in trading" for the one-time All-Star, who joined the Celtics in free agency ahead of the 2017-18 season. He is entering the final year of his contract, and he has a player option with a payout worth roughly $34 million. Begley added that without an extension, it's "hard to see" Hayward electing to opt out.
ESPN's Tim Bontemps also previously reported that Hayward would likely pick up the option, which makes it seem as though any team pursuing Hayward will have to make a worthy offer or otherwise wait until he hits the free-agent market in 2021.