The Miami Heat and Phoenix Suns have advanced to the finals of the Bradley Beal competition. All signs point to the Washington Wizards wanting to offload him as quickly as possible to start a comprehensive rebuild that has been long overdue.
But what if conversations with the Suns and Heat run across an unforeseen snag? According to league insider Sam Amico, the Golden State Warriors “could sneak in” and become Beal’s third suitor behind Phoenix and Miami.
After working out with Draymond Green and the national team in preparation for the 2020 Olympics, Beal had Golden State on his shortlist of prospective trade destinations, according to Fred Katz of The Athletic. Despite the fact that COVID-19 ultimately stopped him from representing Team USA and winning the gold medal in Tokyo, Beal’s time with Green made it evident that he was open to the idea of playing for the Warriors. This is because he basically controls his own fate due to the no-trade clause in his contract.
Even without taking into account the fact that Phoenix and Miami presently hold the lead, there are still a lot of barriers in the way of Beal moving to the Golden State.
The largest of these is the five-year, $251 million deal Beal signed last summer. It will significantly reduce the Dubs’ much anticipated financial flexibility after the 2019–20 season. There are also more recent expenses to take into account. If Golden State just took into account the salaries of Beal, Green, Stephen Curry, Klay Thompson, and Andrew Wiggins, they would only fall $11 million short of the $179.5 million second luxury tax threshold in the upcoming season. Beal, who will turn 30 in late June, just won’t be worth the $50+ million he is due between 2024–2025 and 2026–2027.
The Warriors would also have to cope with this issue in 2023–2024 due to his poor long-term compatibility with Curry. Would Steve Kerr and the new front management really be comfortable committing to offense and small-ball whole-hog after wildly uneven defense and difficulties with size and athleticism helped sink the Dubs’ title defense? Curry and Beal, the best franchise player in team history, are still very old and pricey on the perimeter, making it exceedingly tough for the Warriors to remain competitive as he also approaches retirement.
Uncertainty surrounds whether Golden State has even contacted the Wizards to ask about Bradley Beal. It makes no difference if Mike Dunleavy Jr. answered the phone or not whether he will most likely continue his career with the Warriors.