Injuries to John Wall, a weak roster, and an unhappy Bradley Beal have created a very interesting scenario for the Washington Wizards. With so many question marks looming for the franchise, and no clear answer to any of them, a move seems imminent in Washington — and who better to trade than a young, unhappy star whose value will never be higher?
Bradley Beal is coming off a 30+ point per game season — the best of his career. His 6.1 assist average is also the highest mark of his career. And although the Wizards did not fare well in the East, it’s clear that Beal is more than a great 3-point shooter — he’s also a star.
If the Wizards really want to start digging themselves out of their hole, they’ll likely need to trade their star for some rebuilding pieces in return and multiple teams will likely step up if Washington gets serious in seeking a deal. But, of course, some offers are better than others.
Here are some of the best destinations for the 26-year-old All-Star.
Trade Package: Will Barton, Michael Porter, Monte Morris, and two future picks
The Nuggets may really be just one or two more pieces away from winning a Championship. With Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray, and Paul Milsap, they’ve got the foundation of a winner already in place. You place Beal alongside quality frontcourt players and in a winning environment, and he could thrive.
Moreover, Bradley would add depth and shooting in the backcourt — and for a team that ranked in the bottom half of the NBA in 3-pointers made this season, that’s got some real value. Needless to say, he’d be an ideal fit in Denver and next to Nikola Jokic specifically, who is one of the best pick-and-roll bigs in the league.
New Orleans Pelicans
Trade Package: Jrue Holiday, Josh Hart, and two future first-round picks
Giving up Jrue Holiday would be a big blow to the Pelicans, but it seems the Pels are looking to trade him anyway. The signing of JJ Redick this past summer revealed part of their grand plan: surround Zion Williamson with shooters. That seems to be the meta for any star athlete who excels on the drive.
Since New Orleans seems to be in the market for shooters, why not give Beal a try? He’s one of the best there is, has already proven to be reliable through the course of the season, and already has experience playing with an athletic, drive-to-the-rim type of player. Perhaps best of all is that, at 26, Beal is still young enough to fit Zion’s timeline. They could form a duo that could last a decade.
Trade Package: Tyler Herro, Andre Iguodala, Duncan Robinson, and Kelly Olynyk
Pat Riley never quits and even as his team sits with the fourth-best record in the East, he’s looking for more.
Bam Adebayo and Kendrick Nunn have been glorious surprises for the team and their play is part of the reason why Miami has been so good this year. Add Bradley Beal, and their potential would be limitless.
With Jimmy Butler and Eric Spoelstra leading the locker room, Beal would be free from the dramatics of Washington — which has, historically, been pretty bad for most of the modern basketball era. Since the team has already established the culture of a true winner and is well-versed on both ends of the floor, Beal could take his game to the next level.
And Heat might have themselves a title-contender once again.
Los Angeles Lakers
Trade Package: Danny Green, KCP, Kyle Kuzma and Quinn Cook
Whenever there’s a trade, the Lakers always seem to be knocking — why is that? No doubt, the franchise’s hunger for their former glory plays a role, but the pressure LeBron’s presence puts them in is also an undeniable factor.
As he continues to age, it’ll only become harder for them to win — thus, their Championship window grows ever smaller with each passing day. The Lakers are first in the West, with the second-best record in the entire NBA. But adding a third star is a gamble the team must consider making if they want to truly maximize their chances.
Beal’s youthful vigor will help energize the team and ease the burden on James and Davis to perform. Plus, as a knockdown shooter from beyond the arc, he’s the type of player that thrives under James, who often looks to the perimeter on drive-and-kick opportunities.
Trade Package: Spencer Dinwiddie, Caris LeVert and Jarrett Allen
It’s the worst kept secret in the league: the Nets want to add another star next to Kevin Durant and Kyrie Irving because, apparently, having two top-tier superstars just isn’t enough anymore.
On a serious note, the Nets aren’t wasting the opportunity set before them. With two stars already on the docket and enough pieces to maybe acquire a third, why not shoot for the stars?
And with Beal, they’d certainly be shooting for something — as the combination of him, KD, and Kyrie would be, undoubtedly, one of the best offensive trios in NBA history. Plus, with DeAndre Jordan patrolling the paint for rebounds and put backs, there’d be no stopping this team from putting the ball in the hoop.