Despite agreeing to a contract extension last summer, rumors continue to swirl around All-Star shooting guard Bradley Beal and his future with the Washington Wizards. No matter how many times the Wizards insist that they have no intention of moving Beal, most people still expect him to be one of the hottest commodities on the trade market in the 2020 NBA offseason. As of now, several teams could be closely monitoring Beal’s situation in Washington, including the New Orleans Pelicans.
According to Dan Favale of Bleacher Report, the Pelicans are one of the few teams that could make an offer for Beal that could blow the Wizards away. In the proposed deal, the Pelicans would be sending a trade package including Lonzo Ball, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, and several other assets.
“Plenty of people would be uncomfortable with New Orleans giving up this much,” Favale wrote. “The final tally for Washington amounts to Lonzo Ball, Jaxson Hayes, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, three first-round picks and two seconds. This seems like a lot, because it is. But the Pelicans are facing certain constraints. Ball’s value to the Wizards is a question mark. He has once-in-a-blue-moon vision, and his jumper has improved. But he’s due for a pricey extension, and Washington already paid Wall. New Orleans might need to find a third-party facilitator who would pony up big-time value for Ball.”
At first glance, it would really look like the Pelicans are overpaying for Beal, but Favale believes that the All-Star shooting guard is worth the price. Beal may not be on the level of LeBron James, Kevin Durant, Stephen Curry, or James Harden, but he is definitely capable of helping the Pelicans turn things around next season. At 26, Beal fits the timeline of the Pelicans’ young core of Brandon Ingram, Zion Williamson, and Josh Hart, who have all established an impressive performance this season.
With the years he spent with John Wall in Washington, Beal shouldn’t have a hard time sharing the Pelicans’ backcourt with a ball-dominant guard like Jrue Holiday. If Beal, Ingram, Williamson, Hart, and Holiday grow together and build good chemistry, it may only be a matter of time before the Pelicans start contending for a championship title.
Meanwhile, the proposed trade deal would be very beneficial for the Wizards if they finally decide to undergo a full-scale rebuild. Ball, Alexander-Walker, and Hayes could all be part of the next title-contending team that the Wizards would try to build in the post-Wall and Beal era. The Wizards could use some of the future draft picks that they would acquire from the Pelicans to find a team that will take Wall and his massive salary in the offseason.