The Boston Celtics long have been believed to be a suitor for Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal.
And they still continue to be.
Beal, who can decline his $36.4 million player option with the Wizards for the 2022-23 season and become an unrestricted free agent, reportedly has made his decision, but has decided not to announce it yet. There since have been reports Beal will decline his option, although he seemed to question those reports himself.
Of course, the Celtics wouldn’t be the only team interested in Beal should he become a free agent. He likely has received interest from a number of players and teams to go along with fellow St. Louis native Jayson Tatum, as the two long have shared how they want to play together.
Some teams, though, do make more sense than others.
Bookies.com oddsmaker Adam Thompson revealed hypothetical odds — projected prices that will not be available at a sportsbook — as to the next team Beal will play for.
The Wizards remain the favorite (-125) ahead of the Miami Heat (6-to-1), Atlanta Hawks (+750) and Los Angeles Lakers (9-to-1) with the Celtics (10-to-1) coming in ahead of the Brooklyn Nets (12-to-1) and the San Antonio Spurs (15-to-1).
It’s no surprise the Wizards remain the favorite given their advantage on the rest of the field when it comes to finances. Washington is eligible to sign Beal to a five-year contract worth nearly $250 million. The maximum any other team can offer Beal is a four-year deal worth approximately $184 million.
From a Celtics standpoint, given that Boston is fresh off a NBA Finals appearance after a remarkable in-season turnaround, the prospects of trading for or landing Beal feel more unlikely than they once did. Sure, the Celtics will continue to add to the group of Eastern Conference champions, but signing another star to the sum of money he’ll require, never mind any sign-and-trade that might come about, now feels like a distant dream.