According to multiple reports, Washington Wizards superstar Bradley Beal may be available for trade as soon as the trade deadline. The Sixers are obvious suitors, with disgruntled point guard Ben Simmons still refusing to suit up for the 76ers this season. Beal was one of the early targets for Philadelphia, being that he was a world-class offensive player and high volume three-point shooter. However, early in the season, the Wizards were not entertaining the thought of trading as they wished to build around their 28-year-old shooting guard.
After a hot start to the season, the Wizards have recently fallen off, dropping to the 12th seed in the Eastern Conference. With their recent loss to the Milwaukee Bucks, the Wizards have now lost 6 straight games. The team has clearly stagnated, and the Wizards’ front office has clearly recognized that there is a ceiling with how their current team is constructed. Offseason additions are not playing to the level that they were expected to (excluding Kyle Kuzma), while the coaching decision of hiring Wes Unseld Jr. has been called into question as well. On top of all of this, Bradley Beal has been dealing with a nagging hand injury which will keep him out for at least another week.
On top of all of this is the fact that Bradley Beal only has a player option for the upcoming season, a 36 million dollar option that Beal has already said he will decline. The open market will always be a tempting place for players and a terrifying waiting room for franchises. With no guarantee of his return to the capital city, Beal’s wavering loyalty, and the steep decline in team performance, it is easy to see how the Wizards could talk themselves into trading Bradley Beal.
For the 76ers, the team has declared three players practically untouchable in trade talks, according to David Aldridge and Josh Robbins from The Athletic. Obviously, Joel Embiid is not going anywhere, but according to The Athletic, the Sixers and President Daryl Morey have “held firm” that both Matisse Thybulle and recent Rising Star selection Tyrese Maxey will not be included in a Bradley Beal trade. Whether this proves to be a hindrance in trade talks or not still stands to be seen.
For the 76ers, this could be the desperately needed winds of change for the team to get out from underneath this Ben Simmons situation and even come out looking like a winner. Many fans and media outlets alike have criticized Morey’s approach, citing the MVP-caliber level that Joel Embiid has been playing at this season as a need for Morey and the Sixers to settle in regards to a Ben Simmons trade. However, if Morey is able to pull in Bradley Beal, then he will have proven once again to the league that he is one of the smartest men behind any franchise.