Bradley Beal was never going to be traded from the Washington Wizards to the Boston Celtics. Because despite his well-documented connection with Jayson Tatum, Boston never was going to ditch its budding tandem of Jaylen Brown and Tatum just to make St. Louis East.

But that didn’t mean the Green didn’t have a rooting interest in where Beal ended up. Especially when it was reported both the Milwaukee Bucks and Miami Heat were thought to be prominent suitors for Beal as soon as the All-Star guard and organization started working to find a trade partner.

According to both ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski and The Athletic’s Shams Charania on Sunday, Beal is expected to be traded from the Wizards to the Phoenix Suns. The trade terms are not yet finalized, but all expect Beal to land in the desert with Kevin Durant and Devin Booker.

Beal chose Phoenix over Miami, Milwaukee and the Sacramento Kings, according to Charania. The no-trade clause in his contract essentially gave him veto power and thus the ability to land where he wanted. Phoenix won out.

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It’s an interesting situation for the Celtics, specifically.

Because on the one hand Beal staying in the Eastern Conference would make it more difficult for Boston to reach the NBA Finals. The Heat were the ones who knocked the Celtics out of the playoffs in the Eastern Conference finals, after all. Beal landing in South Beach would have greatly increased Miami’s level of talent.

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And as it relates to the Bucks, well, all they did was win the most regular-season games in the league last year and win the NBA championship three seasons ago. Beal and Giannis Antetokounmpo would have formed a scary All-Star duo in Milwaukee — one which, again, might prevent the Green from representing the East on the sport’s biggest stage.

On the other hand, is the fact the Suns, upon landing Beal in a trade, will have more talent than either the Bucks or Heat. The addition of Beal feels like it helps Phoenix more than it would have helped either of the other two. Again, given the fact Durant and Booker already are in the mix, Phoenix is much more of a contender than Miami and might even eclipse Milwaukee.

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FanDuel Sportsbook currently has the Suns with the fourth-best odds (+650) to win the NBA Finals behind only the reigning champion Denver Nuggets (+460), Celtics (5-1) and Bucks (5-1). Phoenix unsurprisingly sits behind only Denver as the favorite to win the Western Conference. The Heat are 18-1 and that might only be because the recent speculation involving Damian Lillard as Miami was 28-1 to win the 2023-24 title just last week.

So is it good or bad news that Beal chose the Suns over one of the Celtics’ Eastern Conference foes? That probably depends on who you ask. Some might infer that you can’t win an NBA Finals if you don’t get there. Others, though, will point out how getting there doesn’t really qualify for much in Boston.

One thing we probably can all agree on: It would have been much better if Beal chose Sacramento.

Featured image via Rich Storry/USA TODAY Sports Images