As the Sixers shop around Ben Simmons this offseason, Damian Lillard and Bradley Beal have been viewed as the only somewhat realistically available stars who would represent a clear talent upgrade for Philadelphia if Simmons was indeed traded away. The Dame hype has cooled after he backed away from making an outright trade request during a recent press conference. However, per Bleacher Report’s Jake Fischer (a Liberty Ballers alumnus, so you know the information is good), “word has reached front offices around the league that Wizards All-Star guard Bradley Beal is considering requesting a trade prior to Thursday night’s [NBA draft].”
Even better for Sixers fans:
Beal does not have a proverbial list of preferred destinations, but it was mentioned by multiple sources that he would welcome joining teams such as Boston, Golden State, Miami or Philadelphia.
One could make the argument to push for Lillard over Beal, given the slight talent gap and Lillard having more years left on his current contract. However, Beal is younger, and more importantly given this recent report, more readily available at the moment. You take the star you can get.
With Washington also rumored to be shopping Russell Westbrook, they would likely be looking to go full rebuild in the event of a Beal trade. The Sixers don’t exactly have a ton of draft assets, although someone like Tyrese Maxey would fit as a perfect young player with potential for Washington. However, bringing Simmons aboard would likely keep them in that “treadmill of mediocrity” 8-to-11 range for the foreseeable future, so a deal with Washington might be best worked out as a three-teamer. Just hypothetically, Minnesota is a team that has expressed a lot of interest in Ben. You could see the framework of a deal where the Sixers get Beal, the Wolves get Simmons, and the Wizards get Maxey, and a bunch of draft assets/young players from Minnesota.
How a deal could be worked out is all speculation for another day, though. For now, it’s just good to know that a top-two Sixers target might actually be on the market. Start riffin’, Daryl.