The New Orleans Pelicans are reportedly among the teams who expressed interest in acquiring Bradley Beal from the Washington Wizards. The Pelicans may still be a young team, but with the current performances of their core players, some people believe that they are only a superstar away from becoming a legitimate threat in the Western Conference. As of now, the Wizards haven’t shown any strong indication that they are planning to make the All-Star shooting guard available on the trade market in the 2020 NBA offseason.
However, if the Wizards change their mind and start listening to offers for Beal, the Pelicans must be ready to sacrifice at least two of their promising players and multiple first-round picks. In the proposed trade that would send Beal to New Orleans, Benjamin Mehic of SB Nation‘s Bullets Forever suggested that New Orleans could offer a package that includes former No. 2 overall picks Brandon Ingram and Lonzo Ball.
“Looking at what the Pelicans can offer, it’s clear that they would be getting the best player back in any deal they put together that doesn’t involve Williamson. The next best thing, as already mentioned, would be a Ingram, Ball and possibly another young asset — like Jaxson Hayes or Josh Hart. This return might leave some Wizards fans angry, but once those feelings subside, the truth would become a bit clearer — and that would be that Washington nabbed a 22-year-old All-Star in Ingram, and two young players with substantial upside in Ball and Hayes.”
Trading Ingram and Ball would likely be a tough decision for the Pelicans, especially after seeing both youngsters meshing well with Zion Williamson in the 2019-20 NBA season. However, it’s the type of sacrifice that the team should be willing to make if they want to acquire someone of Beal’s caliber. He would give the Pelicans an established veteran superstar who is also a very reliable scoring option, playmaker, and elite three-point shooter.
This season, 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. With his ability to excel in an off-ball capacity, Beal would be an excellent fit alongside a ball-dominant star like Williamson.
The departure of Ball won’t deeply hurt the Pelicans since they still have Jrue Holiday playing as their starting point guard. However, the inclusion of Ingram in the trade package could make New Orleans think twice about pushing forward with the blockbuster deal. In his first season with the Pelicans, Ingram has already blossomed into an All-Star-caliber player, and he’s only 22.
Meanwhile, if they finally realize that they couldn’t win an NBA championship with their explosive backcourt duo, trading Beal for the aforementioned package could be a good move for the Wizards. Ingram, Ball, and rookie forward Rui Hachimura could become the foundation of the next title-contending team that the organization builds in Washington.