The NBA in recent years has not been shy about circulating trade rumors. Over the past year, there has been speculation that Bradley Beal could find himself on a new team. In recent days, the All-Star guard has been showing more and more frustration that could lead these rumors into becoming a reality.
Beal has been a great talent since being drafted in 2012. Every year the guard gets better and better. In the past three seasons alone, Beal has taken great steps into becoming a franchise player. Once former teammate and former star of the Washington Wizards John Wall went down with a gruesome injury, Beal took over the team. During this time he led the Wizards to a fringe playoff team. The talent surrounding him is nothing special as well, as the next best player is sharpshooting power forward Davis Bertans. The talent around Beal is below-average, even after the team had required Russell Westbrook in a trade this offseason.
The Wizards are not in a position of contending for the title, and the team has been even worse than expected heading into the season. Washington has started the season 3-11, which leads the NBA for the worst record. Beal during this time has been nothing but spectacular. Averaging a league-leading 35.4 points this far in the season with shooting splits of 48-36-88. Beal has been playing at an MVP caliber season, but the talent around him has been hindering the overall team’s success.
In a recent interview, a reporter asked if the superstar was frustrated after losing another game after he scored over 40 points. Beal’s answer gave fans and the NBA a shock, as he responded with “Is the sky blue?”. Weeks have passed since the NBA season has started, and it seems that in every game there is a viral photo of Bradley Beal showing frustration and disappointment. With his recent comments about being frustrated with the Wizards losing season, it might seem plausible that he could be soon asking for a trade request.
Although in the past and just recently Beal said he would like to stay in Washington to win, the superstar still might want out of D.C. According to Adrian Wojnarowski of ESPN “…Bradley’s focus with the Wizards is just on trying to get this season turned around, and trying to get this team on track.”. Beal is still focused on his current team and wants to win with the team. Unlike other superstars recently, Beal is still focused on the season and his team.
There is still a chance that Beal is traded before this season’s trade deadline. There have been a few teams that have already made it public that once Beal becomes available in Washington that they will make an offer. The Lakers and Clippers were thrown into the conversation to acquire the disgruntled guard. However, for both of those teams, they might not have the assets to acquire Beal. Both teams have a tight budget and have very little draft capable after recent trades in the past.
Teams interested in Beal
The Lakers do have a few first-round picks and a young talent in Kyle Kuzma. However, those first-round picks will not be valued high as the team is a contender. The Clippers recently traded all their recent first-round picks to receive Paul George and some bench pieces. So unless the Clippers are willing to trade George for Beal, it would seem unlikely that they have the assets to complete this trade.
The best situation for Beal is to go to a team that is in the bottom tier of the playoffs. Teams such as the Miami Heat, Portland Trail Blazers, Toronto Raptors, or even a young team in the Memphis Grizzlies or New Orleans Pelicans. Miami is rumored to make an offer for Beal once he becomes available. The Heat would be a great fit for Beal. The team needs a viable scorer. Jimmy Butler and Bam Adebayo led the team to a finals appearance, and if they had Beal on the roster then they could have won the series.
The Heat have the perfect filler contracts in Kelly Olynyk and Meyers Leonard to help make the money work. The team also has some young talent in Duncan Robinson, Tyler Herro, Precious Achiuwa, and Kendrick Nunn that they can attach to the deal. Miami will have to offer a few first-round picks along with a young player and with the filler contracts to make the deal work. But the trade would benefit both teams. The Wizards would receive draft capital, young talent, and veterans.
Toronto and Portland would also be a good fit for Beal. Although their trade package would not be as enticing as Miami’s. These teams do have plenty of picks and veterans to make a solid offer. Beal would instantly bring both of these teams up a tier in the NBA. Pairing Kyle Lowry and Beal would resurrect the Raptors’ title hopes. Adding Beal to an already dynamic shooting duo in Damian Lillard and CJ McCollum would possibly create one of the best shooting teams in NBA history. Both teams could benefit from a Beal trade and would not have to give up either of their stars. However, the team would lose more draft picks and veterans to acquire the superstar
The Grizzlies and Pelicans would also be interesting fits for Beal. These teams are young and have plenty of draft stock and players to make a deal. Memphis could hand over a few first-round picks, along with a young talent in Dillion Brooks to acquire Beal. Memphis would have to add a veteran contract to make the money work. This trade would instantly give Memphis a chance at making the playoffs. This move for Memphis could indeed be a franchise-changing trade. The team is young, and with Beal on the roster would be competitive for years to come. A big three of Ja Morant, Jaren Jackson Jr, and Beal would create a dynasty for a minimum of half a decade.
New Orleans could be in the same boat as Memphis. The Pelicans have a plethora of first-round picks from the Anthony Davis trade. They could offer over five first-rounders, Lonzo Ball and Josh Hart, along with a veteran contract to help make the money work. This trade would form an impressive trio in Zion Williamson, Brandon Ingram, and Beal. This acquisition would not only improve the team’s shooting but would create a dynasty that this franchise has never seen before in their history.
Bradley Beal has not requested a trade to the front office. As it stands, he will stay in Washington for the time being. But if Washington continues to struggle, as Beal continues to play at an MVP caliber level. The superstar could find himself on a new team by the trade deadline.
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