Monday morning, Fred Katz, who covers the Washington Wizards for The Athletic, reported that if Wizards star guard Bradley Beal were to ask for a trade ahead of this week’s NBA Draft, the Atlanta Hawks would be among teams that could get “in the mix”. Katz also lists the Miami Heat, Philadelphia 76ers and Golden State Warriors as other teams that could be in on the sweepstakes if Beal were to come available.
Beal is coming off another standout season as a scorer in which he averaged a career high 31.3 points per game. Beal is a career 38% shooter from three-point range, and averages 29.7 points and 5.3 assists per game over the past three seasons. The 28-year-old has a player option to become a free agent after the 2021-22 season, so any club trading significant assets for him will likely want Beal to sign an extension upon being traded.
Beal won’t be eligible for a full max extension (three years plus a player option at the end) until six months after being traded, but he could sign on for an additional year as soon as he’s moved. Both Beal and the team trading for him would seemingly prefer to wait six months for him to sign the full max, though obviously both sides are risking something when choosing to wait.
Katz provided some optimism that Beal may not request a trade from Washington in the piece as well, however, stating that the Wizards remain set on keeping him unless he requests a trade, which he has yet to do.
The rumor mill is officially turning, and with the amount of young talent on the Hawks roster, expect to keep hearing them brought up in potential deals this offseason.