5 Teams That Should Trade for Bradley Beal
Detroit Free Press
The Washington Wizards are open for business, according to a new report from ESPN”s Adrian Wojnarowski. Team owner Ted Leonsis has apparently come around to the notion of breaking up the All-Star duo of John Wall and Bradley Beal.
Washington has been bad for quite some time. This season’s underwhelming start is consistent with a team that has failed to impress for the better part of two decades.
As we’ve discussed before, the Wizards are sort of strapped for assets. John Wall might be a multi-time All-Star, but his monster contract extension looms large.
Bradley Beal, on the other hand, is a skillful, young 3-D wing on a team friendly-contract. I can only imagine Washington’s front office has been busy fielding offers for the Florida product ever since Woj’s report hit. If they haven’t already yet, these organizations should heavily consider trading for Bradley Beal.
1) The Miami Heat
After striking out on a deal for disgruntled star Jimmy Butler, Miami Heat President Pat Riley is still without a bonafide All-Star. Sure, his team is well-coached and has some nice pieces, but is decidedly lacking in the sort of fire-power were used to seeing in South Beach.
This is especially troubling as the bonanza of free agency of 2019 quickly approaches. Miami sells itself, but we’ve seen stars turn-down the allure and legacy that comes with playing for the Heat. Bringing in Bradley Beal suddenly makes the on-the-court product much more alluring for potential free agents.
Likewise, in stretches during which John Wall was sidelined with injury, Beal proved a competent and effective leader. He could help the Heat become a bit more competitive in an Eastern Conference with plenty of wiggle room.
Trading for Bradley Beal would give the Heat a true building block from which to grow and attempt to climb out of the mediocre hole the team has been stuck in for the past few seasons.
2) The Los Angeles Lakers
The Lakers already have their foundational star. And while they figure to be heavy players in the aforementioned summer of 2019, we’ve seen how effective pre-agency can be for NBA teams.
Adding Bradley Beal to this Lakers team would add shooting and defense, both of which the team needs. At the same time, it would give LeBron James a running mate who is a bit more of a proven, finished product.
While Beal might look good on the Heat to a potential free agent, a LeBron-Beal duo with a crop of young Lakers would probably be even more enticing. If LA has any interest in making improvements and moving up in the Western Conference food chain, calling the Wizards would be an excellent idea.
Beal’s agent, Mark Bartelstein, also represents the Lakers’ Kyle Kuzma. Perhaps he may be able to convince Magic Johnson and others of such a deal. After all, players and agents have more power than ever.
3) The New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans ought to do everything they can to keep Anthony Davis happy. Losing him for nothing during his eventual free agency would be devastating, while retaining AD for the long haul would revolutionize the franchise.
At present, the Pelicans are short on the sort of talent to truly compete in the West. Davis is an island amid a sea of role players. New Orleans needs another star.
Last season the Pelicans did go and snag Boogie Cousins, showing a willingness to support Davis. It was a smart play that was undercut by injury. New Orleans would be wise to take another stab at bringing in an elite player.
The Wizards are also desperately thin on the wing in a conference with Kevin Durant, LeBron James, Paul George, and others. Beal would be an upgrade over Solomon Hill or E’Twaun Moore.
4) The Charlotte Hornets
Charlotte is another team that is criminally undeserving its lone star. Kemba Walker has been absolutely ballistic this season, but because the Hornets roster is rather pedestrian, his impressive play is not being maximized.
He and Beal would compromise the sort of explosive backcourt Washington wishes it has. Similarly, Nic Batum has been severely disappointing for the Hornets. Pushing him to the bench or showing him the door would be a welcome shake-up for Charlotte.
The Hornets aren’t likely to be major players in free agency any time soon. By trading for star talent, the team can make meaningful improvements. Charlotte would still be one or two pieces away from competing with the very best in the East, but a Walker-Beal core would significantly and immediately improve the Hornets outlook.
5) The Philadelphia 76ers
Following Woj’s report, NBA fans and media members alike were quick to pair Beal’s name with the Philadelphia 76ers. Hot off of trading for Jimmy Butler, Philly is evidently still hungry.
A starting five of Ben Simmons, JJ Reddick, Bradley Beal, Jimmy Butler, and Joel Embiid would be positively horrifying. It would also give the Sixers the type of shooting and defensive switching necessary in today’s NBA.
This trade would vault Philadelphia into the upper-echelon of NBA superteams. There’s still a few assets leftover from the Process for the Sixers to send to Washington. A Beal to the Sixers trade is more than just a pipedream from power-hungry Philadelphians.
Bradley Beal is without a doubt the best trade chip the Wizards have. They have a few terrible contract to sort out, but selling high on Beal is the best way for Washington to land new, interesting pieces and plan for whatever comes next.