This NBA offseason can bring some big surprises regarding trades. We won't have huge names in free agency, but we could see players and franchises making some moves to improve their current situations.
Some stars have been linked with a move away from their squads, and even after vowing they won't go anywhere, things might look different at the start of the 2022/23 season. Bradley Beal has been mentioned as a coveted target for several teams around the league, and perhaps the Washington Wizards are close to losing him.
Moreover, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report writes that the shooting guard could be a great addition for the Philadelphia 76ers as they look to add more firepower to their roster:
Why They Need Him
James Harden isn't a top option anymore. Joel Embiid said so himself. And if those two weren't good enough to get the Philadelphia 76ers out of the second round, the search for a third star has to top the list of offseason priorities.
Beal struggled with injury last season, but he was among the league's very best scorers in 2019-20 and 2020-21. His development as an off-ball threat alongside John Wall early in his career should prepare him for life with Harden, though Beal has never played with an attention-drawing big man like Embiid. Opponents would have to honor Harden on the ball and stay locked on Beal away from it, leaving limited resources to double Embiid inside.
Can They Get Him?
Where there's a will, there's a way. And a couple of separate rumors suggest both Beal and Embiid want to work something out.
Shortly after the trade deadline, The Ringer's Bill Simmons reported on his podcast that Embiid "really wanted" Beal "and was pushing really hard for it."
In March, Andrew Bogut reported on his Rogue Bogues podcast (via Pro Basketball Talk's Dan Feldman) that the "rumor" is Beal "is trying to get to Philadelphia in the offseason to team up with Harden and Embiid."
Practically speaking, the Sixers would have to find a taker for Tobias Harris' salary in order to sign Beal or work out a highly improbable trade. But there's at least a little smoke to suggest a fire is possible.
Although this looks incredibly hard to accomplish right now, the Sixers are a team that can pull this off. Daryl Morey has a thing for flashy stars, and Beal perfectly fits that description. Previously, he was mentioned as a Boston Celtics, Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, and even Portland Trail Blazers target, and now the Sixers join the party.
It remains to be seen if he decides to try his luck somewhere else or give the Wizards the benefit of the doubt and compete for another season in D.C.