With point guard John Wall going down with a season-ending heel injury midway through his 2018-19 campaign, Bradley Beal was easily the best player on a 32-50 Washington Wizards team, averaging a career-high 25.6 points, five rebounds and 5.5 assists, shooting 47.5 percent from the field, and playing all 82 regular-season games. But since the Wizards are expected to focus on rebuilding efforts going forward, a new report suggests that the 25-year-old shooting guard could theoretically be traded this summer to the Indiana Pacers, where he could potentially solve many of the team’s offensive woes.
On Tuesday, Bleacher Report‘s Grant Hughes compiled a list of four “blockbuster” trades that should happen in the coming offseason, including one that would send Beal to the Pacers and have him ideally forming a potent backcourt with erstwhile top scorer Victor Oladipo. As explained by Hughes, the season-ending injury Oladipo suffered in January saw Indiana score 108 points per 100 possessions in his absence, which would put them at 23rd out of 30 NBA teams over the entire season. When the Pacers got swept by the Boston Celtics in the first round of this year’s playoffs, that figure dropped to an even lower 95.8.
While Hughes acknowledged that quite a few hypothetical trades have recommended that the Pacers “juice [their] offense” by trading for a natural point guard like Mike Conley or Jrue Holiday, he added that the team doesn’t necessarily need to acquire a point guard in order to get a much-needed offensive boost. According to Hughes, this problem could be solved if the Pacers trade for Bradley Beal, while surrendering forward/center Domantas Sabonis, incoming second-year point guard Aaron Holiday, backup small forward Doug McDermott, and a 2020 first-round pick to the Wizards.
“Beal and Victor Oladipo could generate plenty of buckets on their own, especially if [starting center] Myles Turner ever commits to spacing all the way out to the three-point line in the pick-and-pop,” Hughes added.
Although Wall was mentioned as the player who the Washington Wizards should ideally be trading in order to “reset” their roster, it was also pointed out that his contract is too “toxic” for most any other team to absorb. As shown on his Spotrac player page, Wall’s supermax contract extension will take effect in 2019-20 and would pay him an average of $42.3 million per year for the next four seasons.
As Sabonis averaged an impressive 14.3 points, 9.8 rebounds, and 2.9 assists off the bench for the Pacers in 2018-19, per Basketball-Reference, Bleacher Report‘s Hughes posited that he would be a big loss for Indiana. However, he stressed that Turner is the “better defensive fit” for the team, adding that Sabonis could be a good centerpiece for the Wizards’ rebuild, with Holiday and the 2020 first-rounder serving as good “sweeteners” for the hypothetical deal.