The Lakers are not in a particularly great situation, to say the least, through the opening 11 games of the season. While there have been bright spots at times, the Lakers have been a team of glimpses as they’ve managed just a pair of wins.
The natural, knee-jerk reaction has been for the Lakers to finally pull the trigger on a trade that includes Russell Westbrook and their first-round picks to bring back a player or players that move the needle. The Lakers, though, have remained adamant they don’t want to make a deal unless it makes them a contender.
For now, those two desires have not had an intersecting point, though the Lakers are hopeful that changes in the future. Specifically, the Lakers are keeping an eye on one specific player in Bradley Beal from Washington, according to a recent report from Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report.
A star player whom the Lakers are known to covet is Washington Wizards shooting guard Bradley Beal, sources say. Going after the 10-year veteran would only be an option if Beal were to request a trade, a tactic he has been reluctant to exercise.
The Lakers’ interest in Bradley Beal is not new by any means. This past summer, Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer reported the team was trying to turn the Russ and two picks package into Beal. In 2021, Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN reported that the Lakers would “love” to trade for Beal. Back in the summer of 2020, the Lakers were linked to Bradley Beal by Shams Charania of The Athletic. Prior to trading for Anthony Davis, the Lakers were linked to Beal as a backup plan of sorts by Sean Deveney of Sporting News.
Basically, the Lakers are annually linked to Beal and if you’ve covered the NBA for any amount of time, you’ve probably reported their interest.
Beal signed a supermax extension in July worth $251 million over five years that included, bizarrely, a no-trade clause. He is the only player in the league with a no-trade clause. Thusly, that is why Beal must request a trade for any of this to pick up steam. Beal also could very well be that very mystery player that Howard Beck mentioned the team was waiting for on Sports Illustrated’s “The Crossover NBA Show” this week.
There’s also the aspect of whether the Lakers even have a competitive offer for Beal if he becomes available. Ultimately, with a no-trade clause, Beal can control where he goes. But the Wizards don’t have to agree to a deal to send him there and the Lakers aren’t going to be able to offer much more than Russ and two first-round picks in a trade. It ultimately doesn’t rule out him coming to the Lakers, but it complicates the matter.
Can the Lakers afford to wait on Beal to become available? With each passing loss, it feels less and less likely they do a deal. Beal would be a bit different as he’s a long-term option given his contract. Is it worth the wait for a chance at him?