Report: Celtics’ Finals run impacted Bradley Beal as FA decision looms originally appeared on NBC Sports Boston
Bradley Beal has been with Washington Wizards for his entire NBA career. But his loyalty could be tested this summer.
Amid speculation that Beal is expected to decline its $36.4 million player option and enter unlimited free agency on June 30, Audacy’s Quinton Mayo reported on his podcast, The Quinton Mayo Showthat the All-Star Guard has yet to decide whether to re-sign with Washington or seek greener pastures.
“From what I’ve heard in my conversations with people close to Brad (and) with Brad, he’s really undecided about what’s next,” Mayo said.
The Boston Celtics are rumored to be a potential landing spot for Beal thanks to his close relationship with Jayson Tatum† (The two grew up together in St. Louis, and Beal even babysat Tatum as a young child.)
beal closely followed Tatum’s Celtics during their playoff run — he was at TD Garden for Game 4 of the NBA Finals — and Mayo thinks Beal might be craving more after watching Tatum and a trio of his former Wizards teammates compete in the NBA Finals.
“I think watching Boston go to the NBA finals and seeing a guy like Jayson Tatum, his young bull, play at the highest level — I think that did something to him,” Mayo said.
“I think guys like Otto Porter Jr. win a ring, Chris Chiozza (former Wizard) win a ring, Gary Payton II win a ring — I think all of these things definitely factor into the next decision he makes.”
Goodman: C’s would be ‘top of the list’ if Beal wants to leave Washington
Beal is a very talented player who made three NBA All-Star teams and was Third-Team All-NBA in 2021. But he’s never made it past the second round of the playoffs over 10 seasons in Washington, and the Wizards aren’t close to being serious contenders in 2022-23.
Beal has survived through several selection experiments in Washington, including a season with an aging Paul Pierce in 2014-15 and a partnership with Russell Westbrook in 2020-21 that resulted in a first-round exit of the playoffs. We wouldn’t blame the 28-year-old for wanting to leave the Wizards for a serious title contender before he’s had his day.
Boston, with two young stars in Tatum and Jaylen Brownseems like a tempting place for Beal to compete for a championship. Acquiring Beal would be difficult for the Celtics and would require them to say goodbye to at least one core player (possibly Brown), but if Beal does indeed want to leave, expect Boston to be mentioned as a potential destination.