April 22, 2024

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Sources: Bradley Bell, Wizards will work together to find trade if team chooses to rebuild

The Washington Wizards’ new front office leaders Bradley Bell have a mutual understanding that they intend to work together to find a deal that would send the three-time All-Star guard to a rival if the team chooses to reset the organization and the league. sources say the athlete.

It’s unclear if the Wizards will ultimately decide to rebuild or if they find an acceptable trade, but sources said both sides are working amicably to find a way forward, with the 2023 NBA draft approaching on June 22. The sources, who were granted anonymity because they were not authorized to discuss the matter, said the Miami Heat and Milwaukee Bucks, are expected to be high-profile bidders for Bell if he ever hits the market.

The Wizards must work with Beal to complete a deal because the five-year, $251 million maximum salary contract that the team and Beal finalized last July includes a no-trade clause that allows Beal to block any trade. The contract also includes a 15 percent trade bonus.

When this contract was signed, Tommy Sheppard was the Wizards’ president and general manager. But the team’s principal owner, Ted Leonsis, fired Sheppard on April 19 after the Wizards missed the playoffs for the fourth time in the past five seasons.

In late May, the Leonsis hired LA Clippers executive Michael Winger as president of Monumental Basketball, with oversight of the Wizards and the WNBA’s Mystics. Leonsis gave Winger full authority to reconfigure the team if that was the route Winger wanted to take. Last week, Winger hired Oklahoma City Thunder executive Will Dawkins as the Wizards’ new general manager.

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Trading Beal would allow the new Wizards executives to retool the team they inherited and possibly add some seed capital. Bell, placed third by the Wizards in 2012 from the University of Florida, has never advanced beyond the second round of the playoffs in his 11-year professional career.

Beal, who turns 30 on June 28, averaged a career-high 23.2 points per game on a career-high 50.6 percent shooting from the field during the 2022-23 season. But a variety of injuries and a stint in the NBA’s health and safety protocols limited him to 50 games.

Bell, forward Kyle Kuzma, and big man Kristaps Porzis appeared in just 35 games together, going 16-19 in those games. In the triple 740 minutes on the floor together, Washington Outsmart opponents by 3.3 points per 100 possessions.

Kuzma, who turns 28 next month, said he plans to decline his player option for next season and become an unrestricted free agent this summer. Borzynis, who turns 28 in August, has a player option worth $36 million for next season.

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(Photo: Eric Hartline/USA Today)