NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Bradley Beal, Ben Simmons and More

Erik Beaston@@ErikBeastonFeatured ColumnistAugust 2, 2021

NBA Trade Rumors: Latest Buzz Surrounding Bradley Beal, Ben Simmons and More

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    John Locher/Associated Press

    Bradley Beal's name was one spoken frequently during offseason trade talk, with potential landing spots from Boston to Los Angeles linked to the Washington Wizard.

    The latest on his future, be it in the nation's capital or elsewhere, was at the forefront of NBA rumors this week.

    Coming off the best year of his career, where is the guard heading, and what is the latest on Philadelphia's Ben Simmons and Sacramento's Buddy Hield?

    Find out with this roundup of NBA trade rumors and reports.

Bradley Beal to Remain with Washington Wizards

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    David Dow/Getty Images

    Bradley Beal is sticking with the Washington Wizards for the time being, according to The Athletic's Marcus Thompson.

    Stadium's Shams Charania reiterated Beal's desire to stay with his current team.

    Beal was one of the buzziest potential trade targets this offseason. His 31.3 points per game, 48.5 percent shooting from the field and 88.9-percent free-throw average probably have something to do with that. That he was instrumental in getting the Wizards back to the postseason for the first time in three years, in his best season to date, definitely helped.

    In July, Bleacher Reports Jake Fischer said Beal would have welcomed a trade to Philadelphia, Boston, Golden State or Miami if it had come to it.

    With Russell Westbrook on his way out of town, Beal will be the unquestioned leader of a Washington team that now has playoff experience on its side and potential for improvement from the so-so 34-38 record of a year ago.

    Following his performance last year, Beal will demand attention from opponents, but also from the media and critics who will look to see if he can replicate his best statistical season to date or if it was an anomaly.

    If it was not, and the Wizards can improve into a top contender in the East under his leadership, do not be surprised to see Beal's name in MVP conversations by season's end.

Lakers Still Interested in Buddy Hield?

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    Rocky Widner/Getty Images

    Despite a trade that would send Russell Westbrook from Washington to Los Angeles, the Lakers still have interest in Sacramento guard Buddy Hield, according to ESPN's Zach Lowe

    In order to acquire Hield, the Lakers would likely have to execute a sign-and-trade deal with point guard Dennis Schroder. Unfortunately, neither the Wizards nor the Kings want Schroder, per Lowe's report. Without a fourth team involved to help necessitate the trade, it is unlikely that Hield ends up alongside LeBron James, Anthony Davis and the aforementioned Westbrook.

    It's a shame, too, because Hield is one of the best three-point shooters of all time. He ranks 30th in NBA history from beyond the arc. Last year alone, he knocked down 40-percent of his three-point attempts.

    A full half-percentage point better than L.A. managed in the same season.

    He would have provided the Lakers with a sharpshooter it had been missing in recent years and absolutely could have benefited from this past season. 

    Without some sort of major development, it appears Hield will continue his career in Sacramento or somewhere else; somewhere that James, Davis and Co. are not.

76ers Looking for Massive Haul for Ben Simmons

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    Jesse D. Garrabrant/Getty Images

    The Philadelphia 76ers are looking for a "James Harden-esque" haul in return for Ben Simmons, ESPN's Adrian Wojnarowski reported.

    The question is whether any team would be willing to offer up three first-round draft picks and players, as well as the ability to swap draft picks further down the line, as was the case when Houston shipped Harden to Brooklyn this past season.

    Simmons disappeared in this year's playoffs, shrinking instead of thriving on the grand stage. He turned in the single worst free-throw percentage in NBA postseason history and, in 56 fourth-quarter minutes played during the series with Atlanta, took only three shots. 

    The exclamation on a horrifically bad postseason performance saw him pass up a wide-open dunk, costing his team two points in what teammate Joel Embiid told the media was "the turning point" of the series-clinching loss to the Hawks. 

    When asked by reporters if Simmons was the point guard of a championship squad, head coach Doc Rivers wavered, NBC 10's John Clark reported. "I don't know the answer to that."

    The head coach and star big man did not immediately back him. The numbers do not lie. Nor does the tape. His strength as a defender does not offset the liability he was offensively in the playoffs, nor does it make up for the perception that he is afraid to shoot the ball, as suggested by TNT's Charles Barkley after the Hawks loss.

    Philly will be hard-pressed to net what it values Simmons at.