Trade rumors have surrounded Bradley Beal ever since the Washington Wizards sudden decline into mediocrity the last couple of seasons. Perpetual injuries suffered by former all-star John Wall have left this Wizards organization befuddled, as Beal has been forced to carry a franchise lacking both talent and stability.
First-year General Manager Tommy Sheppard has made clear his intentions to hold onto the superstar combo guard, but due to Wall’s injury concerns, and an overall lack of organizational direction, it has become increasingly likely the Wizards move on from Beal if they get the right pieces in return.
The Los Angeles Lakers, Miami Heat, New Orleans Pelicans, and Brooklyn Nets have all shown notable interest in recent months, which has left immense speculation regarding potential trade packages these teams could offer.
Los Angeles Lakers
Since LeBron’s arrival in 2018, the Lakers have aggressively pursued various free agents and trade markets. The front office has recognized the importance of maximizing James’ prime by taking initiative when it comes to surrounding the 17-year veteran with the necessary pieces to win another championship.
In order to swing a deal for a player of Beal’s caliber, the Lakers would surely have to part ways with third-year pro Kyle Kuzma. He is the most noteworthy young asset on the roster and has the most trade value outside of LeBron and Anthony Davis. A deal centering around Kuzma and a first-round pick would be a good start in gauging Washington’s trade interest, as shipping him to the Western conference would certainly have more appeal to the Wizards front office.
Final offer: Kyle Kuzma, Danny Green, and two first-round picks for Bradley Beal.
The Heat are another team who have been linked to Beal the last couple seasons, as Miami boasts a roster riddled with young, controllable assets.
Owner Pat Riley has been demonstrative in his desires to bring another all-star to ‘South Beach,’ as the Heat have done a great job in creating a culture that players want to be a part of. Coach Eric Spoelstra has built a great reputation with superstars, and Jimmy Butler could use another battery mate if this Heat team wants to take the next step in a wide-open Eastern Conference.
Although Bam Adebayo is likely untouchable, guards Tyler Herro and Kendrick Nunn could entice Washington to move on from Beal, as they’ve both shown tremendous promise this season. Miami should remain frontrunners to work out a deal given the assets they can offer, as this would be a perfect fit to complement the likes of Butler and Adebayo.
Final offer: Tyler Herro, Kendrick Nunn, Meyers Leonard, and a 2022 second-round pick for Bradley Beal, Shabazz Napier, and a 2021 second-round pick.
New Orleans Pelicans
The Pelicans have been a nice story this season, as the sudden emergence of small forward Brandon Ingram has New Orleans fans ecstatic for the future. Lonzo Ball has also quietly put together a solid season, as a change of scenery has worked wonders for the third-year pro.
Meanwhile, a loaded 2019 draft class headlined by young prodigy Zion Williamson has taken the NBA by storm, as the Pelicans have become one of the most-watched teams in basketball. Rookies Jaxson Hayes and Nickeil Alexander-Walker have also shown serious potential in limited roles thus far.
Adding a player of Beal’s caliber could take this New Orleans team to the next level, as they lack a true scoring threat outside of Ingram. Additionally, he would bring a solid veteran presence to a younger locker room, while fitting seamlessly into the starting lineup.
Given the Wizards needs at everywhere but point guard, it is slightly difficult to craft a trade package catering to both teams’ needs. Something along the lines of Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and Josh Hart could get the ball rolling, as it’d be hard to pass up on three young, talented players.
Final Offer: Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, Josh Hart, and a 2021 first-round pick for Bradley Beal, Shabazz Napier, and a 2021 second-round pick.
The Brooklyn Nets have had a difficult time staying out of the storylines this season, as the addition of two outspoken veterans, Kyrie Irving and Kevin Durant, has riddled this team with dysfunction and controversy. Although Durant and Irving have only played a combined 20 games in a Nets jersey, it hasn’t deterred them from taking full control of the organization, as they reportedly played a major role in the firing of former head coach Kenny Atkinson.
Acquiring a third, low-maintenance all-star could help sew this team back together, as rifts between Irving and younger teammates have followed him throughout his career. Caris Lavert, Spencer Dinwiddie, and Jarrett Allen could be a few players Washington would target in a trade package surrounding Beal.
Final offer: Caris Lavert, Jarrett Allen, and a 2021 second-round pick for Bradley Beal.
Dark Horse: Denver Nuggets
The Denver Nuggets, on their way to a second straight playoff appearance, could emerge as a potential trade candidate given their current roster complexion. They already have two stars to build around in Jamal Murray and Nikola Jokic, but have struggled to find a consistent third option all season long. Gary Harris has taken a surprising step back in 2020, while Paul Milsap remains a shell of his former self.
Beal would fit nicely into this Nuggets lineup, assuming Harris is involved in the deal. A package centered around Harris and 2017 draftee Michael Porter Jr. would make a lot of sense for both sides, as the Wizards would receive two young pieces to build around, while the Nuggets would immediately jump into the championship picture, if they weren’t so already. I like this fit a lot, and would love to see the two teams work something out over the offseason — whenever that may be.
Final offer: Gary Harris, Michael Porter Jr., and a 2021 second-round pick for Bradley Beal.