Bradley Beal’s potential free agency has been a hot topic of discussion for some time now, even though he has mentioned his desire to remain in Washington on multiple occasions. It seems just as fast as word comes out that Beal is committed, another rumor shakes loose about his desire to leave. Lately, the team most connected to Beal has been the Philadelphia 76ers, and now, it seems that interest might just be mutual. According to former NBA player Andrew Bogut, Bradley Beal may have the Sixers in his sights as he approaches free agency.
I’ve heard a pretty big rumor bro… from some people that are pretty close to the situation in the NBA. Big three to Philly; Brad Beal is trying to get to Philadelphia in the offseason to team up with Harden and Embiid.– Andrew Bogut via Rogue Brogues
There has already been plenty of speculation surrounding the Philadelphia 76ers’ upcoming offseason despite the team being in the midst of a playoff push. From James Harden‘s player option to a Tobias Harris trade to the possible addition of a third star. This rumor set forth by Bogut involves all three discussions. Bradley Beal is that third star; he allegedly wants to join Harden — and Embiid — in Philadelphia, and Tobias Harris would have to be involved to match salary.
The rumor makes plenty of sense on the surface, Beal likely wants to compete and feels Philadelphia provides the best opportunity to do so; Joel Embiid was rumored to be campaigning for a Beal deal before the James Harden trade took place, and the Sixers should have the ability to add Beal financially assuming they can get off of Tobias Harris’ contract — which they will aim to do regardless:
“Philly’s desperate — obviously — to try to get off Harris, anyway. They have been for a while. And I think they’re even more desperate now to free up that cap space somehow. It will most likely have to be a sign-and-trade with Philly. But don’t be surprised if a big three forms in Philly. That’s the word on the street.”– Andrew Bogut via Rogue Brogues
What is up for debate is if it makes sense to add another ball-dominant offensive weapon. Adding Beal alongside Embid, Harden, and Tyrese Maxey — assuming he isn’t a part of the deal — would be terrifying, but it would involve a lot of sacrifice from all four, and you risk stunting Maxey’s growth. Is that concern outweighed by the potential of a lineup featuring four stars? Potentially, but it’s not as easy as just making the deal.
Part of the reason for this also is the thought of what the Sixers would have to give up to make such a deal a reality. The team has already extended their draft capital, and while there are ways around that, ways that Sixers’ President of Basketball Operations Daryl Morey is fluent in, they would have to offer quite a large sum of positive assets for Washington to not only take on Tobias Harris but to also convince them to send Beal back in return.
These potential assets include but are not limited to Jaden Springer, Paul Reed, Isaiah Joe, but much more likely, Matisse Thybulle, and, as previously mentioned, rising star Tyrese Maxey. Would parting with one of Maxey and/or Thybulle really be worth it for Philadelphia? Would Daryl Morey even consider it? He certainly didn’t in negotiations for James Harden, who is viewed in consensus as a better player than Beal.
An abundance of questions remain, but one thing is for sure. If Bradley Beal desires a team up in Philadelphia as Bogut suggests, that only works in the Sixers’ favor if they try to acquire him.