Bradley Beal is once again (or still?) popping up in trade rumors.
The smooth-shooting Washington Wizards star's long-term fate has been the subject of intermittent speculation for years running.
With Beal playing great, the rumor mill is once again churning -- but his Wizards are off to a tough start amid a partial rebuild.
Meanwhile a recent report suggested that with Washington struggling, rival teams are "increasingly shifting their gaze toward Beal" as they identify potential targets ahead of the midseason trade deadline.
The Philadelphia 76ers and Brooklyn Nets were said to be interested in Beal, according to Kevin O'Connor of The Ringer, who added there was a perception that the Nets don't have attractive-enough assets to pull off such a swap.
In any event we've given Beal a spin through ESPN's Trade Machine to see where he could potentially fit.
Sixers gets: Beal
Wizards get: Tyrese Maxey, Danny Green, Mike Scott, Isaiah Joe
The Sixers could conceivably acquire Beal without detracting from what you would consider the core nucleus of a team that sat atop the Eastern Conference standings through its first nine games. Green and Scott would provide cap relief on their expiring deals, while Maxey and Joe are interesting prospects.
Mavericks get: Beal, Issac Bonga
Wizards get: Tim Hardaway Jr, James Johnson, Tyrell Terry
This deal would represent just about a straight salary dump for the Wizards, which seems an unlikely scenario at present. However, Terry was a well-regarded prospect when the Mavs drafted him 31st overall last year, though he has played sparingly so far this year.
Golden State Warriors
Warriors get: Beal, Ish Smith
Wizards get: Andrew Wiggins, James Wiseman, Alen Smailagic
Ready to shake things up? This would essentially be a swap of Beal for the No. 2 overall pick, Wiseman, with Andrew Wiggins' albatross contract on the move as well. While it seems like this one would favor the Warriors, Wiggins is still a talented young player with potentially untapped upside. Wiseman has shown flashes of his immense potential early on, though he is green. He could supplant Thomas Bryant, who recently suffered another serious injury, this time a torn ACL.
Nets get: Beal
Wizards get: Caris LeVert, Jarrett Allen, Spencer Dinwiddie
The Nets have long been rumored to be interested in acquiring a third star to pair with Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving, though they might lack the depth to pull off such a deal even if they want to. LeVert has struggled to find a role this year but has shown All-Star potential in the past, and Allen has emerged as one of the Nets' best players, at least by advanced metrics such as PER, but it seemingly hasn't translated in terms of his apparent fit with the organization. The sides have long been unable to reach an extension, while veteran DeAndre Jordan continues to soak up lots of minutes despite his apparently diminished game. Allen is eligible for restricted free agency and Dinwiddie is likely out for the year, so this deal only works if the Wizards like one and potentially both of those guys enough to retain them long-term. Even then, it may not be enough.
Pistons get: Beal, Smith, Bonga
Wizards get: Blake Griffin, Killian Hayes
The Pistons, like the Wizards themselves, appear to be caught somewhere in between being a veteran team and a rebuilding one. Griffin's contract is probably among the worst in the league, so bringing it back in return for Beal would be tough for the Wizards and their fans. Hayes hasn't shown much to encourage that sort of leap, but he was a top-10 pick, and crazier things have happened.
New Orleans Pelicans
Pelicans get: Beal
Wizards get: JJ Redick, Lonzo Ball, Kira Lewis Jr
This deal, like some of the others, would represent something of a combination, of a salary dump and prospect exchange. To acquire Beal in this scenario, the Pelicans would be dumping the expiring contracts of Redick and Ball, plus last year's No. 13 draft pick, Lewis.