With the Washington Wizards still struggling despite the recent acquisition of Russell Westbrook, rumors have continued to swirl around the team’s top scorer, shooting guard Bradley Beal, and his future with the organization. The two-time All-Star has also been the subject of multiple hypothetical trade scenarios, including one that would allow him to join the Philadelphia 76ers and team up with their two young superstars, Ben Simmons and Joel Embiid.
As noted by NBA Analysis Network on Friday, the Sixers were recently linked to another top-tier backcourt star in James Harden of the Houston Rockets, though reports on the former MVP potentially moving to Philadelphia have died down a bit as of late. With the organization determined to hold on to Simmons and Embiid, the publication suggested that it should try trading away its more expensive veterans, much like what happened when Al Horford was sent to the Oklahoma City Thunder in the 2020 offseason.
According to the outlet, the Sixers could do something similar by acquiring Beal and reserve guard Ish Smith for a package featuring starting power forward Tobias Harris, second-year guard Matisse Thybulle, a 2021 first-round pick, a 2023 first-rounder, and a first-round pick swap in the 2027 draft. This transaction, as speculated, could greatly help Philadelphia in a number of ways, particularly in their hopes of making a deeper playoff run during the 2020-21 campaign.
Per NBA Analysis Network, Beal could turn out to be the “missing link” for the Sixers, who already improved their outside shooting attack in the offseason by acquiring veterans Danny Green and Seth Curry. Aside from his scoring skills — he averaged 30.5 points per game for the Wizards in 2019-20 — the 27-year-old could also help Simmons continue to grow as a player while camouflaging some of his most prominent weaknesses.
“Beal is also a ball handler that could allow Simmons to play off the ball more— perhaps even as a screener in pick-and-roll situations to help attack teams in short-roll situations. The lack of shooting ability from Simmons could be offset with Beal’s ability to score the ball.”
Meanwhile, the outlet opined that Harris could serve as a useful complementary player to Westbrook, even if he is known for having one of the “worst contracts” in the league. Per Basketball-Reference, Harris is on the second year of a five-year, $180 million contract and is currently averaging 17.8 points, 8.4 rebounds, and 2.6 assists for the Sixers
As for the rest of the recommended package, the site suggested that Thybulle, who is currently coming off the bench for Philadelphia, could be another “depth piece” that could help the Wizards rebuild, much like the multiple draft picks they would receive in the hypothetical deal.