To put it mildly, the Lakers’ first 11 games of the season have not been particularly encouraging. While there have been some bright points, the Lakers have been a team of flashes, with only two wins.
The Lakers finally making a deal for Russell Westbrook and their first-round picks to acquire a player or guys that make a difference has been the logical, knee-jerk response. The Lakers, meanwhile, continue to be emphatic that they won’t make a move unless it elevates them to a title contender.
Although the Lakers are hopeful things will alter in the future, those two aspirations still need to meet in the middle. According to a recent claim from Chris Haynes of Bleacher Report, the Lakers specifically have their eyes on Washington’s Bradley Beal.
Bradley Beal of the Washington Wizards is a star player that the Lakers are rumored to want. Only if Beal made a trade request—a move he has been hesitant to make—would be going after the 10-year veteran be an option.
By no means is the Lakers’ interest in Bradley Beal new. According to Kevin O’Connor of The Ringer, the team attempted to convert the Russ and two picks combination into Beal this past summer. According to a source, The Lakers would “love” to get Beal in a trade in 2021. Shams Charania of The Athletic first mentioned the Lakers with Bradley Beal in the summer of 2020. Sean Deveney of Sporting News suggested that Beal was the Lakers’ backup plan before they traded for Anthony Davis.
In essence, Beal and the Lakers are linked yearly, and if you’ve covered the NBA for any length of time, you’ve written about the Lakers’ interest.
Beal inked a supermax agreement in July with a no-trade clause that was oddly valued at $251 million over five years. In the league, he is the only player with a no-trade clause. Therefore, for any of this to get traction, Beal needs to ask for a trade. Beal may also be the mysterious player Howard Beck stated the team was waiting for this week on “The Crossover NBA Show” from Sports Illustrated.
The Lakers may even have a competitive bid for Beal if he becomes available, another factor to consider. Beal can ultimately decide where he goes if there is a no-trade clause. However, the Lakers won’t be able to offer significantly more than Russ and two first-round picks in a trade, and the Wizards don’t have to consent to a deal for him to move there. In the end, it doesn’t prevent him from joining the Lakers, but it makes things more difficult.