If you’re a religious DallasBasketball.com reader, you’ve seen Bradley Beal’s name pop up quite a bit over the last few years. Those pipe-dream scenarios always had the same motivation behind them — trying to find a way to add a true second superstar next to Luka Doncic. Will Beal ever truly be available, though?
The Washington Wizards superstar is the subject of speculation yet again, as he’s set to become an unrestricted free agent when free agency begins at the end of June. Beal, who has always pushed back on trade and free agency rumors, has a big decision to make. He can either stay in Washington and make the most money he possibly can, or he can explore his options and try to join a contender in hopes of winning a championship.
According to The Athletic, Beal has already made up his mind about his NBA future, but is refusing to give details right now out of respect for still being under contract with the Wizards. Which begs the question — if Beal was planning on staying in Washington, why would it matter if he’s still under contract or not to make that announcement?
Ideally, Beal would like to stay where he’s at and also win big, but that scenario might not be in the cards for him. Beal is a great player, but he’s likely not a true No. 1 option capable of carrying a team to consistent playoff success, much less a title. And the Wizards don’t have the means of adding a player better than Beal to their current roster.
The Mavs would surely love to add a talent like Beal next to Doncic if at all possible. Despite having a number of salary cap challenges, the most important thing when it comes to landing a free agent is getting them to say “yes” before anything else. If that happens, then GM Nico Harrison and the Mavs’ salary cap experts can formulate a plan on how to make it work from there.
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"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.”
"I really think that what players are attracted to is the culture. Who’s the coach? How does he treat the players? Are they going to let me play? I think that’s all stuff that if you watch us play,” said Harrison on the Ben and Skin Show.
“I always try to tell people culture isn’t stuff that you write on the boards, it’s how people feel when they watch you do what you do. I think people watch us play and they can tell ‘I want to be a part of that.' To me, that’s culture right there.”
Is the culture in Dallas finally strong enough to make the Mavs real players for top-tier free agents after years of disappointment? The new front office certainly believes so.
“It’s safe to say this,” said Harrison when asked if some of the league’s best wanted to be a part of what the Mavs are building.
“I came here thinking that Dallas is a place that top-tier talent wants to come, and I believe that what Jason [Kidd] has created in terms of a culture, that has been the case and will continue to be the case.”
Whether Beal is that guy or not, it’ll be a situation we’ll be watching closely over the next few weeks. One thing we’ve learned about Harrison in just one year is that he’s not shy about shaking things up. If a good opportunity presents itself, the Mavs will waste little time getting it done.