Despite going through many ups and downs in the 2018-19 NBA season, the Washington Wizards still refused to undergo a full-scale rebuild. Though Bradley Beal has yet to sign the three-year, $111 million contract that they offered this summer, the Wizards made it clear to everyone in the league that they have no intention of moving the All-Star shooting guard before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline.
In an interview with Brad Botkin of CBS Sports, Wizards General Manager Tommy Sheppard offered some praise to Bradley Beal and described him as the type of player that NBA teams would want to start with. The Wizards are well aware of the rumors surrounding Beal, so they decided to offer him a massive contract extension in order to make him feel that they still see him as the centerpiece of the title-contender that they are trying to build.
“Brad is without a doubt a core player in this league,” Sheppard said. “Every team would love to have him, and we do. So we’ve never considered anything other than a situation where Brad is with us and leading us forward. We made that clear to him on the first day we could offer him an extension, and we’ll continue to make that clear.”
However, the clock is now ticking for the Wizards, especially knowing that Bradley Beal only has two years left on his contract. Beal may be highly expected to start and end the 2019-20 NBA season in Washington, but if he decides not to sign an extension, the Wizards could be left with no choice but to trade him next offseason instead of losing him as an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2021 without getting anything in return.
Bradley Beal gives John Wall a special birthday toast ????— Bleacher Report (@BleacherReport) September 6, 2019
(via 5deepjak/IG) pic.twitter.com/3AdZJyZ8Nn
According to Matt Burke of Metro USA, one of the NBA teams who could express interest in trading for Bradley Beal next summer is the Philadelphia 76ers. Despite losing Jimmy Butler and J.J. Redick in the 2019 NBA free agency, the Sixers still managed to remain competitive by adding Josh Richardson and Al Horford to the core of Tobias Harris, Joel Embiid, and Ben Simmons. If they fail to win an NBA championship next season, Burke believes that the Sixers will make a huge roster overhaul and consider trading Simmons for Beal.
“If, for instance, the Sixers fall short of a title this season – they will be in a mad rush to upgrade and tinker. Ben Simmons fans don’t want to hear it, but if Elton Brand realizes that the Sixers’ cannot be championship material with Joel Embiid as the 1 and Simmons as the 1A, it will be Simmons that gets shipped out of town.”
The deal would be very beneficial for Bradley Beal and the Sixers. In exchange for Ben Simmons, the Sixers would be acquiring a more experienced All-Star-caliber player who can improve their floor spacing, while Beal would finally be given the opportunity to play for a legitimate title contender.
Meanwhile, trading Bradley Beal for Ben Simmons would be a no-brainer for the Wizards, especially if they finally decide to take a different route. Though he still has plenty to improve in his game, Simmons has shown lots of superstar potential since being drafted as the No. 1 overall pick in the 2016 NBA Draft. Simmons could be the next face of the Wizards franchise provided that they also succeed to find a team who will be willing to absorb John Wall and his lucrative contract.
According to a previous The Inquisitr article, another NBA team who could express interest in trading for Bradley Beal is the New Orleans Pelicans. As the report noted, the Pelicans would be a “natural trade partner” for the Wizards in a blockbuster deal involving Beal, and could offer a trade package including Brandon Ingram, Lonzo Ball, E’Twaun Moore, a 2020 first-round pick, and a 2021 first-round pick to Washington.