After losing John Wall to a season-ending injury, rumors and speculations started to heat up that the Washington Wizards will undergo a huge roster shakeup before the February NBA trade deadline. Without one of their superstars, the Wizards aren’t expected to make much impact in the LeBron James-less Eastern Conference this season. As of now, most people believe that it would be best for the Wizards to undergo a full-scale rebuild.
The Wizards’ rebuilding process will likely start by trading their best trade asset — All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal. The Wizards have yet to make Beal officially available on the trading block, but if they decide to move him, Rob Beard (of The Detroit News) revealed on Twitter that Washington will demand a trade package including “two first-rounders, a young asset and another player.”
According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, one of the NBA teams who could express strong interest in trading for Bradley Beal is the New Orleans Pelicans. Like the Wizards, the Pelicans are also struggling in the 2018-19 NBA season. So far, they are sitting in the No. 14 spot in the Western Conference with an 18-22 record. The Pelicans can’t afford to suffer a disappointing season since it could lessen their chance of convincing Anthony Davis to sign a massive contract extension next summer.
Trading for a superstar like Bradley Beal makes a lot of sense for the Pelicans, as it could give Anthony Davis more reason to stay in New Orleans. Adding Beal to their roster could also make the them a more competitive team in the deep Western Conference. In a proposed trade deal by Bleacher Report, the Pelicans will be sending Frank Jackson, Wesley Johnson, E’Twaun Moore, Julius Randle, a 2019 first-round pick, a 2020 second-round pick, and a 2021 first-round pick to the Wizards for Beal and Dwight Howard. The deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine.
“The Pelicans are 14th in the Western Conference and spiraling. Every loss is viewed as referendum on Anthony Davis’ future. That isn’t necessarily fair, but they cannot afford to ignore it. Forking over multiple future picks is a monstrous gamble when Davis hasn’t signed on the dotted line, and Beal doesn’t solve everything wrong with the Pelicans. (They need defensive versatility.) But this is the type of trade that gets Davis another All-Star running mate and elevates New Orleans’ ceiling in a jam-packed Western Conference.”
What is the Wizards' asking price for Bradley Beal? @detnewsRodBeard reported that Washington would want "something like two first-rounders, a young asset and another player." Also, @kpelton named the Pelicans and Nets as potential destinations for Beal: https://t.co/6Dzk5xchU3
— Alex Kennedy (@AlexKennedyNBA) January 3, 2019
Pairing Anthony Davis with Bradley Beal will not make the Pelicans an instant title contender, but it will greatly help them in making a deep playoff run this season. Beal will give the Pelicans a reliable scoring option next to Davis and a good perimeter defender. This season, the 25-year-old shooting guard is averaging 23.9 points, 4.9 rebounds, 4.8 assists, and 1.2 steals on 46.8 percent shooting from the field and 34.1 percent shooting from beyond the arc. Dwight Howard may only serve as a salary cap filler in the deal, but when healthy, he could form a formidable frontcourt duo with Davis in New Orleans.