With John Wall on the sideline due to injury, Bradley Beal and the Washington Wizards are expected to suffer another huge disappointment in the 2019-20 NBA season. As of now, the Wizards are waiting for Wall to return to 100 percent health, hoping that his pairing with Beal could produce a better result next year. However, if they don’t have any plan of making a major upgrade on their roster, most believe that the Wizards are better off trading Beal in the 2020 offseason when his value is at its peak.
According to Yossi Gozlan of HoopsHype, the Wizards could “get a haul” if they trade Beal this summer. Once Beal becomes officially available on the trading block, Gozlan sees the Oklahoma City Thunder as one of the top trade destinations for the All-Star shooting guard in the offseason.
“If the Wizards feel that they will need to move on from Beal, they will be able to get a haul if they trade him this offseason. One team that can probably get a deal done now is the Oklahoma City Thunder. With multiple first-round picks owed to them by the Clippers, Heat, and Rockets over the next six drafts, the Thunder have too many to realistically make selections on. They need to trade a number of those picks, and a large combination of them should be more than enough to secure Beal. Billy Donovan being Beal’s former coach at the University of Florida also helps.”
When they parted ways with Russell Westbrook and Paul George last summer, the popular belief around the league was that the Thunder would immediately undergo a full-scale rebuild. However, the Thunder chose to remain competitive, and surprisingly, they were in the playoff race in the deep Western Conference. Before the NBA suspension due to the spread of coronavirus, the Thunder were sitting in the No. 5 spot in the Western Conference with a 40-24 record.
If the Thunder can contend for the NBA championship title sooner than expected, trading for Beal this summer makes a lot of sense. Beal may not be on the level of LeBron James, Kawhi Leonard, Kevin Durant, and Stephen Curry, but he could bring tremendous improvement in Oklahoma City, especially on the offensive end of the floor. This season where he’s the second-best scorer, the 26-year-old shooting guard is averaging 30.5 points, 4.2 rebounds, 6.1 assists, and 1.2 steals while shooting 45.5 percent from the field and 35.3 percent from beyond the arc.
The Thunder wouldn’t mind losing multiple first-round picks if it means acquiring a player of Beal’s caliber. However, if the Wizards demand the inclusion of Shai Gilgeous-Alexander in the trade package, the Thunder are highly likely to pass on the deal and just focus on the development of their young players.