DALLAS - Bradley Beal's got a little secret. And the Dallas Mavericks surely want in on it.
The Washington Wizards star has apparently made a decision about his professional future but is declining to speak further out of respect for his current contract set to expire upon this summer's free agency opening. Beal is widely expected to turn down a $36 million option and instead become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career.
And if he's free? And if Dallas could somehow secure him?
"Bradley Beal and Luka together would be ... arguably the best backcourt in the NBA,'' said Kendrick Perkins, the NBA player turned TV analyst. "That would be deadly.''
Mavs BREAKING: Luka Doncic Pal Goran Dragic Signing Elsewhere
The Mavs' Dragic attraction is among the NBA’s worst-kept secrets.
Dallas & Donovan: What's Mavs Trade Cost for Utah Jazz Star Mitchell?
If Utah does opt to move on, the asking price may be set.
Mavs Lose 'Serious' Standout in Jalen Brunson to Knicks, Says Van Gundy
"This is an incredible opportunity for him to also challenge himself to be a starting point guard in this league on an every night basis. I think he’s going to respond exceptionally well.”
Speculation has been a staple of Beal's NBA service since he entered the Association as the third overall pick of the 2012 draft out of Florida. All 10 seasons of his NBA career have been spent in Washington, which recently wrapped its fourth consecutive losing season. The 35-47 record was partly brought about by a wrist injury that cost Beal more than half of the 2021-22 season. One year prior, he averaged a career-best 31.3 points en route to the All-Star Game and third team All-NBA honors.
Contenders, including the Dallas Mavericks, have likely made innumerable calls about Beal, but the soon-to-be 29-year-old has maintained a loyalty to the Washington D.C. area despite the Wizards' struggles. Washington has not won a playoff series since 2017 (not counting their triumph in the East's Play-In Tournament in 2020) and is in the midst of a franchise rehaul under second-year head coach Wes Unseld Jr. (son of the team legend).
The Wizards can grant Beal a bigger max deal but he previously told Bleacher Report that the primary factor of his decision will be finding a place "where I feel like I can win.''
Dallas, fresh off an appearance in the Western Conference Finals, would certainly appear to qualify as such a venue. The Mavericks have sought to pair franchise face Doncic with another established superstar and Beal would undoubtedly fulfill that wish. ... and to probably most observers?
It's be "deadly'' and "best.''