Despite their disappointing 2018-19 NBA season, the Washington Wizards continue to make it clear to everyone in the league that they have no intention of trading All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal so they can undergo a full-scale rebuild. However, with John Wall expected to miss an entire season recovering from an injury, most people don’t see the Wizards contending for the NBA championship or even earning a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference. The Wizards could change that narrative by finding another superstar who could help Beal carry the team next season.
According to Zach Buckley of Bleacher Report, one of the possible trade targets for the Wizards before the 2020 February NBA trade deadline is Chris Paul of the Oklahoma City Thunder. Paul may be expected to start the 2019-20 NBA season as a Thunder, but with the team heading into an inevitable rebuild, he’s clearly an odd fit on their roster. At this point in his NBA career, Paul will likely be better off being traded to a legitimate playoff contending than wasting his time mentoring young players in Oklahoma City.
To acquire Paul from the Thunder, Buckley suggested that the Wizards could simply offer them a trade package including John Wall and a 2022 second-round pick. The proposed trade deal works on ESPN‘s NBA Trade Machine. The potential deal won’t give the Thunder and the Wizards any immediate salary-cap relief, but Buckley believes that both teams could push through with the deal with an optimistic “their trash might be my treasure” approach. However, since Wall is still recovering from an injury, the Wizards would have to send a future draft pick to the Thunder to sweeten the deal.
Though Paul is five years older than Wall, Buckley thinks that the deal would be very beneficial for the Wizards. Aside from giving them a higher chance of making huge noise in the Eastern Conference next season, the presence of Paul may also help them convince Beal to stay long-term in Washington.
“Washington, meanwhile, would get a better backcourt fit for Bradley Beal. Paul is now more experienced playing off the basketball, so Beal would have room to continue developing his on-ball arsenal. The fact each grinds at both ends might make this the East’s top backcourt, potentially giving the Wizards a shot at hosting a first-round series in a conference that looks like it’s Milwaukee, Philadelphia and then everyone else. Beal, who is slated for 2021 free agency but could lock in an extension before that, sounds like he wants to stay if the franchise can show him a path to success.”
Chris Paul may no longer be in his prime, but he would still be an incredible addition to the Wizards, giving them an All-Star caliber point guard and a very reliable scoring option next to Bradley Beal. With the years he spent playing alongside James Harden in Houston, Paul likely won’t mind if the Wizards decide to make Beal the focal point of their offense next season.