The Washington Wizards looked like they were going to be the surprise winners of the offseason when the NBA season started. Washington got off to a 10-3 start with wins over the Hawks, Bucks and Celtics to prove their roster around star guard Bradley Beal wasn’t fluky. The Russell Westbrook deal looked profitable for this season and beyond, as it would ensure Beal signed a long-term extension.
Fast-forward to 2022 and the Wizards are sitting at .500 in the middle of the East. Beal is still an unrestricted free agent and can leave for nothing in the summer. The Wizards will try to get a commitment from him but it’s hard to know if he’ll really stay with this roster reverting to subpar basketball.
Here’s a look at potential trades for Beal using ESPN’s trade machine, as contender eye the shooting guard’s intriguing blend of talent and age.
Trade 1: Wizards-Warriors
Warriors get: Bradley Beal
Wizards get: Andrew Wiggins, Jonathan Kuminga, Jordan Poole, 2022 first-round pick, 2023 first-round swap, 2025 first-round swap
Beal has reportedly gotten the COVID-19 vaccine, so playing at the Chase Center is no longer a problem if he was a Warrior. This is the trade fans wanted to see in the offseason and it didn’t occur as Golden State held onto its lottery picks. With Klay Thompson back, the Warriors can make a win-now move. Those pick swaps could pay off as Golden State’s stars age, although the Warriors won’t care about that stuff if it means more championships. Poole and Kuminga are good building blocks, while Wiggins is a solid starter for Washington.
Trade 2: Wizards-Heat
Heat get: Bradley Beal
Wizards get: Tyler Herro, Duncan Robinson, Gabe Vincent, P.J. Tucker, 2024 first-round swap, 2025 first-round pick, 2026 first-round swap
Giving up both Herro and Robinson is probably not going to fly for the Heat but Beal is the game-changer for Miami’s title chances. If the team had better injury luck, there would already be a lot of rumors swirling. This is one of those scenarios that is unlikely not because the Heat don’t have assets, but because their current situation doesn’t merit a deal for Washington’s star.
Trade 3: Wizards-Mavericks
Mavericks get: Bradley Beal
Wizards get: Dwight Powell, Reggie Bullock, Maxi Kleber, 2025 first-round pick, 2026 first-round swap, 2027 first-round pick
The Mavericks have to realize at some point that Luka Doncic alone will not win a championship. The Doncic-Kristaps Porzingis pairing is solid but not enough to contend in the West at the moment. Beal would change the game significantly, although Dallas will need some tweaks on the fringes to make it work. The Wizards won’t want to take Tim Hardaway Jr.’s long-term salary back, so Bullock and Powell will have to suffice as filler. Kleber is a solid rotation big but the main haul here would be the draft picks. It’s a lot to give up, but the Mavs can’t keep hoping for Doncic to take some quantum leap and become a walking ring on his own.