There’s now a chance that Washington Wizards star Bradley Beal could request a trade this summer. While general manager Tommy Sheppard has pushed back against that idea in recent months, the decision to part ways with head coach Scott Brooks changes the dynamics. For his part, Beal is said to be mulling a trade request ahead of the 2021 NBA Draft later this week.
The backdrop here is a Wizards team that’s coming off its third consecutive losing season and a first-round playoff exit at the hands of the Philadelphia 76ers. With Beal likely set to hit free agency following the 2021-22 season, we look at five ideal trade scenarios for the high-scoring guard.
Bradley Beal trade to the New York Knicks
- Knicks get: Bradley Beal
- Wizards get: R.J. Barrett, Obo Toppin, three first-round picks, pick swaps
New York is an intriguing option in that it has roughly $55 million to spend under the salary cap and can take on salaries in any hypothetical blockbuster trade. It will help president Leon Rose improve an overperforming roster that earned a playoff spot a season ago.
In this scenario, the Knicks offer up their two most-recent lottery picks as potential building blocks for Washington. Specifically, Barrett could end up being a franchise cornerstone after an impressive sophomore season. While rumors persist that New York isn’t willing to include Barrett in a blockbuster trade, this almost makes too much sense for the organization.
The Wizards also gain three first-round picks over the next three years, including a top-30 selection in 2021, as well as the right to swap first-round picks two other years. It also helps that they save roughly $20 million in cap room.
Bradley Beal trade to the San Antonio Spurs
- Spurs get: Bradley Beal
- Wizards get: Derrick White, Devin Vassell, Keldon Johnson, two first-round picks
At 72 years old and having missed out on the playoffs each of the past two years, it’s highly unlikely that Gregg Popovich is going to continue with the status quo. Sure the Spurs have some solid youngsters in Derrick White, Devin Vassell and Keldon Johnson. But the idea of a long-term rebuild in San Antonio might not make much sense right now.
Instead, Pop and Co. offer up those three young wings and two future first-round picks to Wizards for a true franchise cornerstone player. In turn, Beal would be able to team up with the likes of Dejounte Murray and potentially even DeMar DeRozan to form a tremendous big three. At the very least, it would give Pop an ability to vie for a top-five seed out west until he rides into the sunset.
Bradley Beal trade to the New Orleans Pelicans
- Pelicans get: Bradley Beal
- Wizards get: Brandon Ingram, Nickeil Alexander-Walker, two first-round picks
Of all the potential Beal trade scenarios mentioned yet, this might actually make the most sense for Washington. It would be acquiring an All-Star forward and potential franchise cornerstone in Brandon Ingram who is still only 23 years old. Heck, Ingram and Russell Westbrook would make a solid big two if Washington opts to keep the latter. The Wizards also acquire a traditional two-guard in the impressive Alexander-Walker while having a pick of the litter as it relates to the numerous Pelicans first-round selections over the next six years after picking up the No. 10 pick in the 2021 NBA Draft in this hypothetical trade.
In New Orleans, front office head David Griffin is is now looking to find another star to team up with disgruntled young forward Zion Williamson. The pressure is squarely on here for the Pelicans to add said player to this mix before discontent on Mr. Williamson’s part becomes more visible.
Bradley Beal trade to the Denver Nuggets
- Nuggets get: Bradley Beal
- Wizards get: Michael Porter Jr., Aaron Gordon, Monte Morris, two future first-round picks, pick swap
It is more than reasonable to believe that Denver wants to add to the core two of Jamal Murray and reigning NBA MVP Nikola Jokic this offseason. Even after declining to make Porter Jr. available in trade talks for James Harden, he’s the one major chip the Nuggets have if they are to add another star and form a super-team.
Sure Porter Jr. has loads of untapped potential. He’s seemingly a future franchise cornerstone. But adding one of the top-three pure scorers in the NBA will come at a cost. Meanwhile, Gordon struggled fitting into Denver’s scheme after a mid-season trade from the Orlando Magic. The Nuggets could use those two as well as an impressive guard in Morris as chips to pry Beal from the nation’s capital.
Bradley Beal trade to the Golden State Warriors
- Warriors get: Bradley Beal, Davis Bertans
- Wizards get: Andrew Wiggins, Jordan Poole, James Wiseman, 7th pick, two future first-round picks, one pick swap
Just imagine Beal teaming up with Klay Thompson and Stephen Curry in San Francisco. This is the type of blockbuster an always-proactive Warriors front office has been attempting to make since Kevin Durant’s departure in free agency. Now, general manager Bob Myers and Co. have the assets to pull off a trade of this ilk and have been linked to blockbuster trades over the past several weeks.
In terms of the assets heading back to D.C., this could potentially be the best package the Wizards could get in a hypothetical trade. It includes a vastly improved three-and-D wing in Andrew Wiggins who could be flipped for more assets. Jordan Poole was tremendous in a two-guard role behind Stephen Curry as a sophomore. Meanwhile, James Wiseman is just months removed from being the No. 2 pick in the 2020 NBA Draft. Washington also nabs the seventh overall pick in the 2021 NBA Draft, two future first-round selections and multiple pick swaps.