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After such a stunningly brutal stretch of bad luck, it makes sense to want a quick fix to right the Boston Celtics contention ship, but I'm here to tell you Bradley Beal is not the guy*.

Yes, astute reader, there is an asterisk there, so I'll get around to explaining it. But let me begin by saying emotional decisions are typically bad ones, and Beal -- as good and young as he is -- is not the slam-dunk some of you seem to think.

Sure, he's good friends with one of our best young players, and a fellow University of Florida product to pair with Al Horford, but if the price of admission is Marcus Smart and Jaylen Brown and draft assets, I am so far out I'm in international waters.



Not because Bradley is bad, mind you, or that I have an issue with his contract -- at $27 million, he's properly paid with at least one more year left after next -- just that the likely cost would be far, far too high, particularly when considering what you'd have to replace.

To start with, let's consider Jaylen. Brown, by all accounts, had a rough start that killed his season averages almost as much as losing a sixth of his playing to make space for... well, let's not think too much on that debacle -- I know you know the score.

But, taking into account all of that, using per 36-minutes stats to see how he did with the minute-loss, it's clear Jaylen made a small step forward even with all the noise going on with the team, jumping from 17 points, 5.8 boards and 2.1 turnovers to 18.1, 5.9 and 1.9 respectively.

Compare this with Beal, who, at roughly three years older, had a better offensive rating (113 to Jaylen's 104) last season, but also a much worse defensive rating, logging 114 to Brown's 109. When you account for situation, the difference becomes less significant, given in a season where Beal's role is closer to Jaylen's this year (last year's Washington Wizards, with a healthy-ish John Wall), the gap is much tighter, with Beal logging 109 and 110 on defensive and offensive ratings, respectively, compared to Brown's 104 and 109.

Yes, agreed, none of these stats separate the eye test between their last few seasons, but -- hear me out -- when you look at most stats for Beal over his first three seasons, they are hardly better at all. So, in effect, there's a very good chance you'd be dealing Brown away for an older, costlier version of himself, while still needing to replace Smart, with fewer draft assets to do it with.

For me at least, keeping the heart and soul of the team is a wise move after one knee-jerk reaction after another led us to this very place. And the prospect of accelerating the repeater tax and likely end of contention with no clear guarantee thee move will produce better results than even Brown alone, likely to have a breakout year with less mouths to feed on the roster, I am going to take a hard pass on almost any iteration of this deal.

Now if we knew the Wizards -- who currently have no general manager -- wanted Gordon Hayward's contract, it'd fit nicely salary-wise, but would likely also require a fair haul of assets and frankly, isn't going to happen without a minor miracle given all the cap issues the Wiz are dealing with sans leader.

I'm not saying this is off the table or even a bad idea apart from what it'd take from the roster to get him on it, but I wouldn't hold my breath, either.

For more stories by Justin, click here.



Follow Justin at @justinquinnn

Justinquinnn 6/18/2019 06:44:00 PM Edit
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