The Washington Wizards enter NBA trade season with one massive piece they could move. That piece is star shooting guard Bradley Beal, who is now eligible to be traded after signing a five-year maximum contract over the summer. That contract has made Beal a less attractive trade target at the moment but the talent is still there with the 28-year old.
There are two factors working against the Wizards and Beal in any potential move. The first is Beal’s loyalty to the Wizards, for reasons which have baffled many around the league. The guard has consistently re-signed with Washington and shot down trade rumors. He seems content to finish his career with the only organization that drafted him, even if it means being less competitive on the court.
The second factor is Beal’s current hamstring injury, which is actually an aggravation of an injury he suffered earlier in the season. Hamstrings are lingering issues and a team which gives up the farm for Beal on a supermax contract will want to make sure the medical stuff checks out. Even though the possibility of Beal being dealt is slim, here’s a few teams where he makes sense outside of Washington.
Knicks get: Bradley Beal
Wizards get: Evan Fournier, Derrick Rose, Isaiah Hartenstein, 2024 first-round pick, 2026 first-round pick, 2023 first-round swap
The Knicks might be able to save a draft pick but they have assets to deal. New York is going to be swimming in first-round picks depending on protections and can build out a bench later. Beal and Jalen Brunson could form one of the best scoring backcourts in the East, and New York has enough frontcourt size to keep defenses honest. The Knicks need to make the playoffs this season and while ownership has said it will not go all-in on players it considers to be “faux superstars”, there’s a chance New York could land Beal.
Mavericks get: Bradley Beal
Wizards get: Spencer Dinwiddie, Tim Hardaway Jr., Jaden Hardy, 2025 first-round pick, 2027 first-round pick, 2026 first-round swap
There’s some history between these two teams stemming from the Kristaps Porzingis deal last year. The Wizards likely don’t go here, because Dallas’ offer further stacks the deck on peripheral players for Washington. The draft picks are nice and Hardy could be a solid rotation piece in time but Dinwiddie and Hardaway Jr. add contracts the Wizards don’t really want. The Mavericks seem content to hold out to find the right running mate for Luka Doncic. Beal fits the bill and is on Doncic’s timeline, but Washington is unlikely to play ball here.