Bradley Beal's future in Washington has been a matter of increasing doubt since John Wall's injury in 2019. With the Wizards struggling to put together a decent stretch of basketball, many are of the belief that it's only a matter of time until he departs from the franchise.
One possible destination could be the New Orleans Pelicans who may be prepared to offer a package that includes young point guard Lonzo Ball, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Jaxson Hayes, and several first and second-round draft picks.
“Plenty of people would be uncomfortable with New Orleans giving up this much,” Favale wrote. “The final tally for Washington amounts to Lonzo Ball, Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, three first-round picks and two seconds. This seems like a lot, because it is. But the Pelicans are facing certain constraints. Ball’s value to the Wizards is a question mark. He has once-in-a-blue-moon vision, and his jumper has improved. But he’s due for a pricey extension, and Washington already paid Wall. New Orleans might need to find a third-party facilitator who would pony up big-time value for Ball.”
A deal such as this would help the Pelicans secure their status as playoff contenders. With Zion and Ingram improving every season, they are already primed for a step up next season. But with Beal, the team would have a formidable trio of young stars capable of attacking in multiple different ways -- on the inside, on the outside, and in isolation situations.
From Washington's perspective, Lonzo would help ease the pressure for Wall to return to his All-Star form right away. It might even allow them to move on from the veteran point guard completely. Either way, he's an excellent playmaker who would have value to the Wizards both in the starting lineup and off the bench. The draft picks would help them jumpstart their rebuild.
In the weeks and months to come, you can expect both teams to be active in their pursuit of a deal. In the case of this particular swap, while it may be a longshot, it wouldn't be the craziest thing to happen within the past year.