Every morning, we compile the links of the day and dump them here… highlighting the big storyline. Because there’s nothing quite as satisfying as a good morning dump.
Multiple sources point to Bradley Beal as prime option—particularly if Irving leaves. Beal is coming off his best season and showed a wider range of skills after the Wizards lost John Wall at the end of December. Not only did his scoring average jump to 27.2 points per game post-Wall, but he also looked comfortable handling increased playmaking responsibilities. Beal would fit neatly into a Celtics system that thrives on ball movement and doesn’t require a pure point guard—particularly if Gordon Hayward continues to work his way back toward his old self.
Beal will have lots of suitors, particularly among the teams that hoped to land Davis or who miss out on the premier free agents. It’s possible the Wizards could try to persuade a team with significant cap room to trade for both Beal and Wall—a deal that would require little in return, since the key for Washington would be to clear Wall’s contract. But short of that sort of option materializing, few teams can match the type of package Boston could put together. One league source suggested that Washington would need to strongly consider an offer of Jayson Tatum, Marcus Smart and a protected pick for Beal or that Boston could offer Smart, Jaylen Brown and two future first-rounders as an alternative trade.
Bradley Beal is one helluva player but those proposed trade packages are STEEP. Like, Anthony Davis steep.
I love Jaylen Brown, but it’s a stretch to project him as a better player than the 25-year old Beal. Look at these numbers: 25.6 PPG, 5.5 APG, 5.0 RPG, 1.5 SPG, 47.5 FG%, 58.1 TS%.
Smart’s inclusion in those speculative offers is tough to swallow. If Horford walks, I don’t believe he’s needed for salary-matching purposes because of the newly found cap space.
Could Boston sway Washington with a package centered around Brown, the Memphis pick and another 1st rounder?
PS: there’s no chance I’m moving Tatum for Beal.
On Page 2, could Al Horford join Kyrie Irving in Brooklyn?
These two teams just can’t shake one another. Horford signing with Brooklyn would be a hilarious chapter in this saga. Unreal.
Pairing the 33-year old Horford with the 34-year old Chris Paul and owing them a combined $220 million seems a bit nuts.
The rest of the links
Herald – Horford to leave as free agent