The Washington Wizards are in a dismal state as a franchise. Despite the acquisition of superstar Russell Westbrook, they have started with a 3-11 record. That is a far cry from the predictions for the season, where many expected Westbrook and Beal to be competing for the playoffs. After all, two superstars should be a recipe for success, but that success hasn't translated from in theory to onto the court. There is a lot of blame to go around, but one of the people that cannot be blamed is superstar Bradley Beal.
Bradley Beal is the best player on a team that is currently headed for the lottery. No star wants to play for a losing team. Bradley Beal deserves to be on a contender, and it makes sense that a contender would want him. After all, he is a premier shooting guard in the league and is currently averaging 35.4 PPG. There are a few franchises that could use a superstar for their roster while sending out a variety of assets. Here are the franchises that could put together a deal for Bradley Beal.
5. Atlanta Hawks
Atlanta Hawks Receive: Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards Receive: John Collins, Cam Reddish, De'Andre Hunter, Tony Snell, 2 future first-round picks, 2 future second-round picks
The Atlanta Hawks could elect to pair a top-three shooting guard in the league with Trae Young by trading for Bradley Beal. While the defense on that Atlanta Hawks team would be questionable, the offensive firepower would be worth the risk. Having Bradley Beal, Trae Young, and Clint Capela on the roster would be a good start to building a contender. With John Collins being up for a new contract, it could make sense to center a package around him in order to get a bonafide superstar. Bradley Beal would give the Atlanta Hawks another top-tier perimeter creator who can get his own shot.
This package would be great for the Washington Wizards: they would get a few young players and some picks which automatically helps build their core for the future. That is quite a haul for their superstar. Cam Reddish and De'Andre Hunter are both wings with potential, and De'Andre Hunter currently looks like he has taken a leap, averaging 17.9 PPG while shooting 37.5% from 3PT range. Tony Snell's contract would be there for salary marching. John Collins would be the main attraction of this deal as he averaged 21.6 PPG and 10.1 RPG during the 2019-20 season. While his numbers have dropped during the 2020-21 season, he could still be elite in a bigger role with the Wizards.
4. Denver Nuggets
Denver Nuggets Receive: Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards Receive: Michael Porter Jr., Gary Harris, Monte Morris, a 2021 first-round pick
The Denver Nuggets are a team that could use that extra push to make the Finals. Last season, the Denver Nuggets were famously a dark horse contender, and they proved their ability by eliminating the Los Angeles Clippers during the second round of the playoffs. This year, Nikola Jokic is an MVP candidate and Jamal Murray looks like an All-Star: there is no doubting these Nuggets' growth and ability to compete. Making a Big Three of Nikola Jokic, Jamal Murray and Bradley Beal could be appealing to the Denver franchise and could be the push they need to beat the heavyweights in the West, such as the Los Angeles Lakers. Bradley Beal would give them a third elite scorer, which could be beneficial in an era where superteams are the norm.
In this scenario, the Denver Nuggets would give up three players who could all thrive on a team where they get more touches. Monte Morris is a solid backup PG who can act as a spark plug scorer off the bench. Gary Harris is a once-promising two-way guard and a solid floor spacer. The player with the most potential on this list is Michael Porter Jr., and he would certainly be in any deal for Bradley Beal. Porter Jr. is a three-level scorer who is talented enough to be a franchise centerpiece. He could be key for the Wizards' future and pairing Porter Jr. and Rui Hachimura would give them two combo forwards with offensive potential. The 2021 first-round pick could be good, as the draft class is deep and full of potential.
3. Golden State Warriors
Golden State Warriors Receive: Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards Receive: Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, Jordan Poole, Alen Smailagic, 2021 Minnesota Timberwolves first-round pick (1-3 protected)
The Golden State Warriors have started the season with a positive 10-8 record, but they have been inconsistent. Stephen Curry is still one of the best players in the game, but this Golden State Warriors team lacks a superstar scorer with the loss of Klay Thompson to injury. Andrew Wiggins, Eric Paschall, and Kelly Oubre Jr. can all score the ball, but none of them do it in such a prolific manner as Bradley Beal. Bradley Beal is also able to play off-ball and has good movement on the court, which are both keys to success in Steve Kerr's system. While this package would be a lot to give up for Bradley Beal, the potential of a really good team when Klay Thompson comes back could entice the Warriors to make a trade.
Andrew Wiggins would be the main part of this deal due to his contract, but also due to his ability. Andrew Wiggins has shown himself to be one of the best defenders in the league, and he provides some consistent scoring with his defense. Eric Paschall had an All-Rookie selection last season. He could be better on a team where he'd have more of a role in the offense handling the ball: his bully ball scoring style is fairly effective. Jordan Poole and Alen Smailagic are okay role players, who could play off the bench for the Wizards. The 2021 Timberwolves pick provides a lot of value, as it looks like it will be a top draft pick in 2021. This is a monster haul for Bradley Beal, as it helps the Wizards acquire an established player like Wiggins, but also some younger pieces and a pick.
2. Philadelphia 76ers
Philadelphia 76ers Receive: Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards Receive: Ben Simmons, Tyrese Maxey, 2021 first-round pick
The Philadelphia 76ers were one of the teams that were rumored to be in on the James Harden sweepstakes. While they didn't get James Harden, Bradley Beal could be the next best thing. Beal is a few years younger than Harden and isn't as prolific a playmaker, but is still a fantastic fit next to a dominant inside presence like Joel Embiid. The Philadelphia 76ers are one of the best teams in the league, but Bradley Beal would make them absolutely lethal. Beal is an electric scorer, and in Philadelphia, he'd finally have some teammates that can help him carry the scoring load while playing good defense. Philadelphia is clearly one of the best destinations for Bradley Beal.
The trade package is obviously focused on Ben Simmons. Ben Simmons is an All-NBA player, but there have been obvious concerns about his shooting and his ability to further improve without a workable jump shot. Tyrese Maxey on the other hand is a willing shooter and has shown flashes during his rookie year. The 2021 first-round pick is valuable as well, possibly getting an effective player towards the back of the draft. This package consists of a promising rookie who can score the ball and an All-Star who gives out DPOY level defense. This is a solid haul for a consensus superstar in this league.
1. Miami Heat
Miami Heat Receive: Bradley Beal
Washington Wizards Receive: Andre Iguodala, Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Kelly Olynyk
The Miami Heat need to do something to continue competing. While the 2019-20 Miami Heat exceeded all expectations and reached the NBA Finals, this year, they've started with a bad 6-11 record. As such, they could make a win-now move in order to compete with Jimmy Butler. A Big Three of Jimmy Butler, Bam Adebayo, and Bradley Beal could compete with any team in the league. Bradley Beal would provide a go-to option in terms of scoring, and supercharge the Miami Heat offense. Any time you can put a superstar next to two other stars, then you should take the plunge. The Miami Heat also wouldn't have to give out any picks, which provides some insurance for the future if the team doesn't work out.
The Washington Wizards would be receiving two expiring contracts and two elite young prospects. Kelly Olynyk and Andre Iguodala are both capable role players, but they are mostly in this deal because they are expiring contracts, and match Beal's salary. Tyler Herro and Duncan Robinson are two players who provide shot creation and spacing, and in time could become stars. Tyler Herro is currently averaging 17.6 PPG and has elevated his scoring. Duncan Robinson has been an elite shooter from the perimeter, averaging 40.4% from 3PT range on high volume. The two young players could be the building blocks for the Washington Wizards' future if Bradley Beal ends up getting traded to Miami.