Bradley Beal is on the move, with the Washington Wizards reportedly agreeing to trade the three-time All-Star guard to the Phoenix Suns for Chris Paul, Landry Shamet, multiple second-round picks, and multiple pick swaps.
While the Boston Celtics had been linked to Beal in the past – in part because he and Jayson Tatum are longtime friends – it appears they pretty much sat out the Beal sweepstakes this time around, with MassLive’s Brian Robb reporting the C’s were “never serious contenders for a Beal pursuit.”
Jermaine Wiggins believes that was a mistake, arguing on The Greg Hill Show Monday morning that Beal would have been a “perfect fit” for the Celtics, especially since they probably could have gotten him without giving up Jaylen Brown. (Listen to the start of the Beal discussion beginning at the 13:30 mark in the clip below.)
“Biggest mistake ever by the Celtics,” Wiggy said. “I don’t know what the Celtics are doing. Why would you not want a guy like Bradley Beal? And that you might have been able to get Bradley Beal without having to move on from Jaylen Brown?”
“Definitely without Jaylen Brown,” said Adam Jones, filling in for Greg Hill. “It was Chris Paul, who’s about to get waived, and a bunch of second-round picks.”
“And if you look at the way Bradley Beal plays, the one thing he would’ve gave you is what you don’t have: Somebody who can create with the ball in his hands and get to the paint, and then get it out to guys like Tatum and Brown,” Wiggy added. “Because Brown is clearly not as good as Tatum at creating off the dribble. Tatum can create more, but even Tatum’s more of a half-court creator. This would’ve been the perfect fit for this team with what Bradley Beal is able to do. The only other guy I can see them going after who can do it is Dame Lillard.”
“And it sounds like he’s going to the Heat,” Jones said.
The Celtics probably would have needed to trade Malcolm Brogdon, one of Marcus Smart or Derrick White, and one or two other smaller contract to make the salaries work, with Beal set to make $46.7 million in 2023-24 before jumping up over $50 million from 2024-27.
They probably could have made it work with Beal, Tatum and Brown for one year, but the big problem would have come starting next season, when a potential supermax contract for Brown would kick in. Tatum’s next supermax contract would start the following year in 2025. The NBA’s new collective bargaining agreement would make it extremely difficult for the Celtics to keep all three for that kind of money.
But if you believe Beal would significantly improve the Celtics’ title chances like Wiggy does, then there’s certainly an argument to be made for going for it this year and crossing that 2024 bridge when it gets here.
Listen below as Wiggy, Jones and Courtney Cox continued their Beal discussion beginning at the 8:14 mark: