Are the Washington Wizards – who are now without John Wall for the remainder of the season due to injury – making Bradley Beal available?
ESPN’s Adrian Wojnarowski reported in November 2018 that every player on the team is theoretically available – including Beal. This led The Ringer boss Bill Simmons to put Beal in the “If You Tell Woj, I’ll Deny It to the Death … but I’m Listening” category on his latest Trade Value column.
Rod Beard reported what the Wizards’ front office would like in exchange for the shooting guard.
Kevin Pelton also recently wrote about what kind of return the Wizards would like in a potential Beal trade (via ESPN):
“Because of his contract, Beal would be an ideal target for a team with cap flexibility that’s not a destination for free agents. Sending Washington expiring contracts (along with the necessary young talent and/or draft picks) would be the best chance of landing a star using that flexibility.”
According to Pelton, the last time someone like Beal (with two-plus years left on his current contract and an All-Star selection the previous season) was traded was when the Detroit Pistons dealt Chauncey Billups to the Denver Nuggets in November 2008.
Pelton mentioned the Brooklyn Nets and New Orleans Pelicans as potential destinations for Beal. Both teams are pushing for a playoff berth in their respective conferences.
Brooklyn has several expiring contracts (DeMarre Carroll, Kenneth Faried, Jared Dudley) worth north of $9 million. This is potentially alluring for Washington because it would give them some cap flexibility moving forward, which is something that they currently do not have.
As for young talent, the Nets could offer up upcoming restricted free agents D’Angelo Russell or Rondae Hollis-Jefferson in an auditioning role for the Wizards. Other interesting assets that could potentially be in the mix include rookies Rodions Kurucs or Dzanan Musa.
This team has two first-round picks (theirs and one from the Nuggets) to offer this season. Perhaps some combination of the players listed above and draft picks could make Washington pull the trigger. Brooklyn is expected to be a buyer in trade talks.
For the Pelicans, the No. 1 goal is persuading Anthony Davis to stay in New Orleans for longer than just this season. If they paired Beal with another top guard (Jrue Holiday) in the backcourt, they’d suddenly have an interesting team that could potentially make noise in the Western Conference.
Dallas was interested in making a move for Jimmy Butler and could offer someone like Dennis Smith Jr. (who is reportedly on the table) to put Beal alongside Luka Doncic as a young, emerging core. This would give the Mavs two of the best shot creators in the NBA.