As the 2020-21 NBA season draws closer, several interesting trade ideas continue to surface in the league. These include a three-team blockbuster deal involving the Oklahoma City Thunder that would send Bradley Beal to the Los Angeles Clippers and Paul George to the Washington Wizards. In the proposed trade scenario by Grant Afseth of NBA Analysis Network, the Clippers would receive Beal, Thomas Bryant, a 2022 first-round pick, and a 2024 first-round pick, the Wizards would get George and Mfiondu Kabengele, and the Thunder would acquire Ish Smith, a 2022 second-rounder, and a 2023 second-rounder.
Of all the three teams involved, the Clippers would benefit the most from the suggested deal. It could enable them to replace George with another All-Star caliber player that would be a much better fit with Kawhi Leonard.
“The Clippers could form a more cohesive offensive unit around Kawhi Leonard and Bradley Beal when considering Beal embraces playing off the ball, and does it quite well. George is more than capable but prefers to run high pick-and-rolls as opposed to playing within the flow of the offense. It would be easier for the Clippers to retain Beal than it would the Wizards to keep George long-term. There is a real appeal to playing alongside a two-time champion as in the case of Leonard all the while being located in Los Angeles.”
Pairing Leonard and Beal would give the Clippers one of the best offensive duos in the 2020-21 NBA season. Beal wouldn’t have a hard time building chemistry with a ball-dominant superstar like Leonard since unlike George, he’s capable of excelling in an off-ball capacity. He would give them a very reliable second scoring option behind Leonard, a decent playmaker, and an elite three-point shooter.
Last season, he averaged 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, per ESPN. Aside from Beal, the Clippers would receive a young and promising big man in Bryant, who could serve as the primary backup for Serge Ibaka next year. Using the two future first-rounders, the Clippers could add more talented prospects to the roster, or they could include it in a separate deal to further solidify their core.
Meanwhile, for the Wizards, the potential deal would allow them to reunite George with their newly-acquired star, Russell Westbrook. Chemistry would no longer be an issue for George and Westbrook since they played together for the Thunder for two seasons. Playing in a weaker conference may give the George-Westbrook tandem a better chance of making a deeper playoff run and reaching the NBA Finals.
As compensation for helping the Clippers and the Wizards facilitate a blockbuster deal, the Thunder would get two future second-round selections. If Smith performs well next season, they could flip his expiring contract into a young player or a future draft asset before the 2021 trade deadline.