NBA Trade Rumors: Analyzing Buzz on James Harden, Bradley Beal, More

Blake SchusterAnalyst IIINovember 20, 2020

NBA Trade Rumors: Analyzing Buzz on James Harden, Bradley Beal, More

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    Mark J. Terrill/Associated Press

    With the NBA draft completed and free agency set to open, the rumor mill across the league has slowed down quite a bit. 

    However, that doesn't mean there aren't some major names still being discussed in front offices. 

    James Harden, Bradley Beal and Malik Beasley have all found themselves the subject of intense rumors recently. And just over a week before training camps open, some of those players may well be on the move before the season starts on December 22. 

    Here's a look at where things stand heading into free agency.

Celtics Advised Not to Pursue Harden

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    Michael Dwyer/Associated Press

    Go ahead and eliminate the Boston Celtics from the possible teams looking to acquire Harden. 

    According to former Boston Herald reporter Steve Bulpett, the Celtics looked into what it would take to trade for the 31-year-old but were "strongly advised" not to pursue the guard who's trying to force his way out of Houston. 

    Bulpett noted the Celtics were briefed on the deterioration of the relationship between Harden and the Rockets, and it "didn't paint a lot of people in a very good light." 

    Just how well Harden would fit into Boston's system is also worth questioning since it has a backcourt loaded with primary ball-handlers and shooters, including Kemba Walker, Jaylen Brown and Marcus Smart. 

    Meanwhile, Brooklyn Nets general manager Sean Marks did not comment directly on Harden, but he did say the team was in a good position at the moment. 

    "There's never a dull moment," he told YES Network on Thursday. "I think when maybe you're the part of some rumors out there and so forth, you take heed and just look how far the Nets organization has come."

Wizards 'Rebuffing' Bradley Beal Offers

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    Nick Wass/Associated Press

    According to Yahoo Sports' Vincent Goodwill, multiple teams have reached out to the Washington Wizards to gauge the availability of shooting guard Bradley Beal. That interest hasn't been encouraged, though.

    The Philadelphia 76ers are reportedly among the clubs interested in the Florida product and just cleared a wide swath of cap space by moving Al Horford and Josh Richardson on draft day. 

    However, the Wizards are intent on keeping Beal in D.C.

    During an appearance on The Lowe Post podcast with ESPN's Zach Lowe, Washington general manager Tommy Sheppard made that stance as clear as possible.

    "We're building this team around Bradley Beal," he said. "He's a tremendous human being. He's a tremendous player. He's exactly what we want to have here with the Washington Wizards."

    The first step in that process took place on Wednesday when the Wizards grabbed small forward Deni Avdija at No. 9 overall in the draft.

Malik Beasley on the Block

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    Jack Dempsey/Associated Press

    Minnesota Timberwolves shooting guard Malik Beasley may have seen his role eliminated by the club drafting Anthony Edwards No. 1 overall on Wednesday. 

    The pending restricted free agent was acquired by the T-Wolves at the February trade deadline from the Denver Nuggets and averaged 20.7 points, 5.1 rebounds and 1.9 assists over 14 games with Minnesota. That type of production may see the team trying to cash in on his trade value.

    Vincent Goodwill of Yahoo Sports reported Thursday that Minnesota has made the 23-year-old available in trade talks, with the New York Knicks among the teams interested in his services. 

    In the meantime, Beasley can explore his options around the league as an RFA, but the Timberwolves will have an opportunity to match any offer sheet he receives.