When the Washington Wizards struggled early in the 2018-19 NBA season, rumors started to circulate about their plan to move some of their core players, including All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal. However, despite losing John Wall to a season-ending injury, the Wizards made it clear to everyone in the league that they have no intention of trading Beal and undergoing a full-scale rebuild. As a matter of fact, the Wizards are planning to offer Beal a massive contract extension in the 2019 NBA offseason.
Bradley Beal and the Wizards do seem to have a mutual interest in extending their partnership, but there are some people who believe that they are better off going their separate ways. Despite their desire to remain a competitive team, the Wizards’ roster, as currently constructed, could have a hard time earning a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference next season.
As of now, Grant Hughes of Bleacher Report thinks that it will be best for the Wizards to follow the footsteps of the New Orleans Pelicans and trade Beal for assets that can help them speed up the rebuilding process.
“The Anthony Davis fiasco isn’t a perfect parallel, but look at what the Pelicans got for their dissatisfied star. Landing Zion Williamson with the top pick in the draft mattered more than anything else the Pels acquired, but they remade the rest of their roster overnight by adding virtually all of the Los Angeles Lakers’ young talent and future picks. Contrast that with what just happened to the Charlotte Hornets, who watched Kemba Walker join the Boston Celtics in free agency. Had Charlotte proactively moved Walker during any of the past two seasons, maybe it wouldn’t be in one of the most hopeless long-term positions in the league.”
Bradley Beal talked about his future with the Wizards after accepting the NBA Cares Community Assist Award on Monday:
“I still have two years left. We just drafted Rui and I want to see what we do in free agency before I make the ultimate decision." https://t.co/M0xi4wC2bV
— Scott Allen (@ScottSAllen) June 25, 2019
The Pelicans were caught off guard when Anthony Davis informed them about his desire to leave. Luckily, with still two years left on his contract, the Pelicans had plenty of time to explore the market for Davis and ended up sending him to the Los Angeles Lakers in exchange for Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, Josh Hart, and multiple first-round picks. Davis’ departure is undeniably heartbreaking, but with the core of Zion Williamson, Jrue Holiday, Ingram, Ball, and Hart, the future is still bright for the Pelicans.
Bradley Beal may not be on the level of Anthony Davis, but trading him could give the Wizards enough trade assets that could greatly help them in rebuilding the team. Aside from acquiring young players and future draft picks, the Wizards could also use Beal to unload some of the lucrative contracts on their roster. The Wizards have yet to make Beal available on the trading block, but there are already teams who are inquiring about his availability via trade, including the Miami Heat.
In a Twitter post, Barry Jackson of the Miami Herald revealed that the Heat have engaged in a trade discussion with the Wizards involving Bradley Beal. In the potential deal, the Heat have reportedly expressed their willingness to absorb John Wall and his massive contract. Unfortunately, the Wizards informed them that they have no plan of trading Beal.